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

Thursday, March 10, 2016


Stewart Granger and Valerie Hobson
BLANCHE FURY (1948). Director: Marc Allegret.

Because of her parents' deaths, Blanche Fuller (Valerie Hobson), is forced to work as a domestic, but then she hears from her formerly estranged Uncle Simon (Walter Fitzgerald) that he wants her to come to his estate and be governess to his widower-son's little girl, Lavinia (Suzanne Gibbs). Blanche finds herself in grand surroundings, and meets two men: Lawrence (Michael Gough), who is Simon's son and Lavinia's father; and bitter Philip (Stewart Granger), who is the illegitimate son of a Fury, has no claim on the estate, and runs it for the others. Our heroine is rechristened Blanche Fury at her uncle's direction. As Philip tries to find proof of a possible marriage between his father and mother, which would change everything, he finds himself falling in love with Blanche and vice versa. A marriage takes place, but perhaps one that isn't based on love ... Blanche Fury has interesting characters and situations, fine cinematography by Guy Green, and a good score by Clifton Parker, but it suffers from the fact that its two lead actors are only so so. Philip is basically an intense Heathcliff-type character, but aside from a couple of moments, Granger [Footsteps in the Fog] plays him so laid-back as to be laughable. Hobson [Werewolf of London] is better, but it's still not a great performance. Fitzgerald, Gough [Konga], and the assorted character actors do nicely, however.

Verdict: It holds the attention but never quite convinces, although it has an uncompromising ending. **1/2 out of 4.

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