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

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Ray Milland as rotter Mark

SO EVIL MY LOVE (1948). Director: Lewis Allen.

A missionary's widow named Olivia (Ann Todd of The Seventh Veil) nurses a sick man named Mark (Ray Milland of A Life of Her Own) on a voyage returning to 19th century London and he later comes to board in her house. Mark is a thorough rotter and criminal with a cheap girlfriend, but he brings out Olivia's hidden desires and passions and she falls hard for him. Eventually the two work out a scheme for money that involves Olivia's old school chum, Susan (Geraldine Fitzgerald of Nobody Lives Forever), and her tiresome, tight-assed husband, Henry (Raymond Huntley). Much later an untenable situation develops that casts Susan into a nightmare and Olivia into a pit of torment and confusion. As for Mark, he is developing certain feelings that surprise even him. The best thing about this fascinating study of obsession is that it's completely unpredictable, throwing twists and turns at the viewer from start to finish. Although Milland may not be the best casting, he gives a good performance, Fitzgerald is fine, and Ann Todd is perfect and wonderful as the decent woman given in to love, lust and immorality. It all builds to a terrific and ironic conclusion. The score is by William Alwyn and Victor Young. Leo G. Carroll is the most notable of the supporting cast. Lewis Allen also directed Desert Fury and many others. Supposedly inspired by a true story.

Verdict: Absorbing romantic suspense film. ***1/2.

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