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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Gone To Earth (1950)

Set in 1897 Northern England, a half Gypsy girl (Jennifer Jones) with a passion for animals finds herself torn between a cruel aristocrat (David Farrar) and a country minister (Cyril Cusack). Her spirit wants one man while her flesh desires the other man. Based on the 1917 novel by Mary Webb and directed by Michael Powell and Eric Pressburger. Like most of Powell's Technicolor films (RED SHOES, BLACK NARCISSUS, TALES OF HOFFMAN),  this is a real beauty with Christopher Challis (TWO FOR THE ROAD) in charge of the cinematography which was filmed on location in the Shropshire countryside. To be honest, it's not one of Powell and Pressburger's best films but it's far from a failure. Jennifer Jones always had an ethereal "not of this Earth" quality about her which makes her perfect for the wood nymph like country lass who has an affinity for the land and the animal life around her. Her role isn't all that far removed from her Pearl Chavez in DUEL IN THE SUN as there, as here, she fights her dual nature between the "good" Joseph Cotten and the "bad" Gregory Peck. Selznick's husband disliked the film and had it released (2 years later) in America in a re-edited and cut version by almost a half hour and retitled it THE WILD HEART. With Hugh Griffith, George Cole and Sybil Thorndike.

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