13 July 2020 | blanche-2
it's actually the boy in black
I'll explain the subject of my review later.
I won't lie and say I enjoyed this film, though I certainly loved seeing all the actors so young, and their acting was marvelous.
"The Man in Grey" begins at a modern-day auction where Phyllis Calvert and Stewart Granger meet. Granger is hoping to pick up something from the Rohan family - one of his ancestors was involved with a Roham. Calvert actually is a Rohan.
As they look over the various small items available, the film dissolves to an earlier time period. We see how these items were connected to the various people in the story.
The lovely Clarissa (Calvert) marries the wealthy, arrogant Lord Rohan (James Mason) not for love, but so he can have an heir while he continues with his hedonistic life. While in school, Clarissa befriended a poor girl, Hester (Margaret Lockwood). One night she sees that Hester, who had run off to get married, is in a play, and makes contact with her.
It's not long before Hester is living in the manse with Clarissa and Lord Rohan and decides that three's a crowd. The unhappy Clarissa meets Rokeby (Granger), and they fall in love. He wants her to leave Rohan. What will happen to the lives of these four?
Apparently this film was a huge hit and really established these stars. For me it was problematic. The first complete turn-off was a discussion of a disgusting dogfight. Thank God it was just a discussion. I nearly stopped watching then but soldiered on. It solidified Lord Rohan for me as a revolting human being.
And then we have little Toby (Antony Scott). You're kidding, right? He plays a boy slave who is devoted to Clarissa. He's a white kid in blackface. Stupefying. Or was he? Supposedly he is the son of Harry Scott, part of the minstrel team of Scott and Whaley. Scott and Whaley supposedly actually were black. But boy this kid looked like he had on blackface. A little mystery that I couldn't solve.
The Man in Grey is a story where good is good and evil is evil, no in betweens. Hester and Lord Rohan are nasty pieces of work.
See it for the fine actors and as an example of Gainsborough films - this is probably the most successful one.