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

Thursday, August 9, 2018


MADONNA OF THE SEVEN MOONS (1945). Director: Arthur Crabtree.

Maddalena (Phyllis Calvert) is a convent-raised girl who is raped and traumatized shortly before being married off to the kindly Giuseppe (John Stewart). Years go by and their daughter, Angela (Patricia Roc of The Wicked Lady), is now grown, but the announcement of her marriage to Evelyn (Alan Haines) precipitates another episode in which Maddalena runs off for months and vanishes. Maddalena has a whole other life as Rosanna, the lover of the criminal, Nino (Stewart Granger of Blanche Fury), in Florence. Neither Guiseppe nor Nino realize that Maddalena/Rosanna has a split personality due to her rape years before, and Nino thinks that she has taken a lover, Giuseppe, and decides to kill one or the other ... Madonna of the Seven Moons is hard to take seriously as it's much more of a pot-boiler than a drama, but it is arresting at times, and generally well-acted. Phylllis Calvert [The Man in Grey] is quite effective at getting across her different personalities and at different time periods, and the other cast members are all good. Especially notable are Peter Glenville as Sandro, Nino's slimy brother, and Nancy Price as their cackling old crone of  a mother. The film is entertaining, but one senses it would have worked better as an Italian verismo opera with a score by Pietro Mascagni.

Verdict: Watch out for those wild Florencian passions! ***. 


angelman66 said...

Stewart Granger was a movie heartthrob back in the day, and he always looks very dashing in period costumes!
His BFF Michael Wilding was married to Elizabeth Taylor, but Wilding seemed to prefer the company of his special friend Stewart, if rumors are to be believed...

William said...

Interesting! I had heard that Wilding liked the guys but I didn't know about Granger!