Under Capricorn (1949)

Approved   |    |  Crime, Drama, Romance

Under Capricorn (1949) Poster

A young gentleman goes to Australia where he reunites with his now married childhood sweetheart, only to find out she has become an alcoholic and harbors dark secrets.


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12 January 2017 | ma-cortes
| Hitchcock's overlong and emotionally intriguing costume drama about family secrets and skeletons in the cupboard
It describes the aristocratic Irish lass Lady Henrietta Flusky (Ingrid Bergman miscasting as Irish girl)'s disastrous marriage to rakish stable-hand , an ex-inmate called Flusky (Joseph Cotten) banished Australia . When it takes place a tragic event , she follows her convict hubby out to 1830s Australia . Then , she turns to drink , becoming alcoholic , perhaps because of his neglect husband . When the governor's (Cecil Parker) nephew Hon. Charles Adare (Michael Wilding) visits them , he meets her on a bad situation , but he suspects she is being poisoned .

This is an ineffably romantic picture adapted from the Helen Simpson novel with echoes of ¨Rebecca¨ and ¨Suspicion¨ ; it packs tension , thrills , suspense , plot twists involving family skeleton and intense drama . This is an unexciting Hitch film in which Alfred even had the star of those two big Forties successes , ¨Spellbound¨ and ¨Notorious¨ , the great actress Ingrid Bergman playing with him again . The poignant romanticism that includes the suspenseful screenplay contains such surefire Alfred elements as the dominant housekeeper similarly to ¨Judith Anderson's Rebecca¨ , the skeleton in the cupboard and the confession of guilt towards the final . Here Alfred cast around in vain for another major success ; however , it was a real flop at box office . The movie , nevertheless , maintains a certain brightness , brilliance and elegance thanks to sweeping and overlong takes . Passable interpretation from the protagonist trio , such as Ingrid Bergman as the unsettling lady , Joseph Cotten as a lower-class man convicted of murder who is deported Australia where he makes fortune and Michael Wilding as an impulsive young becomes involved with the strange marriage . But Margaret Leighton took the acting honor to play the astute housekeeper . The film also displays expensive gowns , nice production design and glimmer cinematography in Technicolor by Jack Cardiff . It was remade in 1982 ¨Under Capricorn¨ an Autralian remake by Rod Hardy with Lisa Harrow , Julia Blake , Catherine Lynch .

After ¨39 steps¨ and ¨Jamaica Inn¨ Hitchcock was encouraged to go to America and promptly shot his first work in Hollywood hired by the great producer David O'Selznick , as he won Oscar to best picture for his first film there , titled ¨Rebeca¨ , being Hitchcock's first great American success in a classic story with a love story and suspense . Later , R.K.O , Radio Pictures Inc offered him the direction of ¨Suspicion¨ with Gary Grant and Joan Fontaine . Subsequently , he made ¨Notorious¨ and this slow-moving ¨Under Capricorn¨ , but , as he even admitted himself , basic mistakes were made in the preparation of the film . The motion picture is indispensable watching for Hithcock lovers , though it is definitely a lesser Alfred film as well as mite predictable , and rather verbose ; achieving a mediocre impact on his audience .

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