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Friday, April 7, 2017

The Woman In White (1948)

A young artist (Gig Young) meets a mysterious woman (Eleanor Parker) in white while walking through the woods at night. The morning after he meets he meets a young heiress (Eleanor Parker) who is the exact double of the mysterious "woman in white". And so begins a tale of murder, insanity, switched identities and greed. Based on the classic 1859 novel by Wilkie Collins (considered the prototype of the 20th century mystery novel) and directed by Peter Godfrey (CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT). Collins' rather convoluted novel is given the streamlined treatment with some major changes (characters eliminated, different ending etc.) but it remains a good example of an old fashioned Gothic influenced romantic mystery. Godfrey manages to give the movie an appropriate atmosphere and with one exception, the performances are very nice. The one exception is Gig Young who seems like a fish out of water here but the others are just right. Sydney Greenstreet makes for a marvelously diabolical villain and Parker in her dual roles gets to go from A to Z with her acting. Even Max Steiner seems inspired and manages to give a better than average score. With Alexis Smith, Agnes Moorehead, John Emery and John Abbott. 

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