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

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


SHE PLAYED WITH FIRE (1957). Aka Fortune is a Woman. Director: Sidney Gilliat.

Oliver Branwell (Jack Hawkins) is an insurance investigator called out to look into a fire at the estate of Tracey Moreton (Dennis Price). Moreton's wife, Sarah (Arlene Dahl) turns out to be a woman with whom Branwell once had a very close relationship. It wouldn't be fair to reveal the twists of this suspenseful crime thriller, but it's safe to say that Branwell is soon up to his neck in arson, suspicion, and murder. Is Sarah the innocent, loving woman that she seems, or is she something else? Bolstered by good performances from the leads and supporting cast, as well as good pacing and an evocative score by William Alwyn, She Played with Fire is a solid mystery that pulls you in right from the arresting opening. Christopher Lee has a small role in the film as an actor, and Ian Hunter has a larger role as one of Branwell's colleagues.

Verdict: Worth a look. ***.

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