Madeleine (1950)

Approved   |    |  Crime, Drama, Mystery

Madeleine (1950) Poster

The middle-class family of a young woman cannot understand why she delays in marrying a respectable young man. They know nothing about her long-standing affair with a Frenchman.


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27 March 2008 | moonspinner55
| A scandal in Scotland...
A boarding-house Lothario in 1857 Glasgow dies from arsenic poisoning; a stack of incriminating letters point the finger at the man's secret lover, an unmarried high society woman who has recently announced her engagement to a man of her class. True story which held Victorian Scotland spellbound is given handsome, but not elaborate treatment from director David Lean. Lean's then-wife Ann Todd reportedly played Madeleine Smith on the stage (not credited here) and her assets--steely eyes, a knitted-brow and taut mouth--are in perfect accompaniment with this inscrutable character, who may or may not be what she seems. Lean captures the allure of a clandestine romance, with the screen fading to black as the lustiness becomes palpable, and his third act in the courtroom is quite lively. Still, this seems to be a lot of striding up and down for a fairly certain verdict, and the conclusion is curiously flat. Columbo could've solved this case in an hour. ** from ****

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