Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


A PLACE OF ONE'S OWN (1945). Director: Bernard Knowles.

"There are other worlds."

James Mason often wound up in strange movies and in weird roles, and while the character he plays isn't especially weird, it's a wonder why he bothered to take the part. On the other hand, Mason is a fine actor and is generally up to any challenge, such as, in this case, playing a much older man. Henry Smedhurst (Mason) and his wife move into a house (an all too obvious model) that is supposed to be haunted. A pretty young woman, Annette (Margaret Lockwood), comes to live with them as the wife's companion, but soon she seems to fall under the spell of another woman who either committed suicide, or was murdered, in the house. Is she going loco or do spirits that can influence the living really exist? It all builds up -- if that's the word for such a dull picture -- to a real shaggy dog (or shaggy ghost) ending that may have some viewers groaning. Dulcie Gray, an Una O'Connor sound-alike, perks up the film as Sarah the maid, and Ernest Thesiger of Bride of Frankenstein makes a welcome, if all too brief, entrance late in the picture. Mason is quite good, but he was much more fun in Journey to the Center of the Earth.

Verdict: Watch House on Haunted Hill instead. **.

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