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

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Geraldine Fitzgerald and David Farrar
THE LATE EDWINA BLACK aka The Obsessed/1952. Director: Maurice Elvey.

"There's not much of a world for penniless young girls like you. Or lonely old women like me."

Gregory Black (David Farrar) lives beyond his means in a huge home because his wife, Edwina, is wealthy. Gregory's secretary is Elizabeth Grahame (Geraldine Fitzgerald), and the two have fallen in love. When the never-seen Edwina, who is a bedridden invalid, is found dead, Inspector Martin (Roland Culver) tells them that they found arsenic in the dead woman's system. It isn't long before both Gregory and Elizabeth are freaking out, each accusing the other of murder while Edwina's spirit seems to hover over the household. The Late Edwina Black is well-acted, especially by Fitzgerald [So Evil My Love] and Jean Cadell as the housekeeper, Ellen, and the film has genuine suspense. The problem with the picture is that the two main characters are completely unsympathetic, never registering the slightest compassion or understanding for Edwina. We're led to believe that she may be a harridan, but the events that could have led to her becoming that way are glossed over. This is based on a play that was filmed or made for television more than once. Well-photographed by Stephen Dade. Elvey also directed The Tunnel. David Farrar played Sexton Blake in The Echo Murders.

Verdict: Not bad mystery film with a good plot but unlikable characters. **1/2.

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