A Woman's Vengeance 1948)

UK Universal - Screenbound 2016 DVD edition



Text below written 2020-03-05


Fine crime drama with good acting from especially Jessica Tandy and Charles Boyer, but also from Sir Cedric Hardwicke and Mildred Natwick
in the smaller parts. Method acting meets Film Noir when Tandy takes on her role in an impressive way and Charles Boyer, not really a
favourite actor of mine, impresses too here and gives a very fine performance as the husband suspected of murdering his wife. I've never
seen him better. But, Tandy, a success on the theatre stage in Tennessee Williams "A Streetcar Named Desire" around this time steals the show
as the friendly neighbour woman Miss Janet Spence. A fascinating portrait of a woman of the verge of cracking up.

The film script is written by famous author Aldous Huxley and it's based on his short crime and social satire story "The Giaconda Smile"

Rich middle-aged Henry Maurier (Boyer) is unhappily married to a sickly and hysterical woman, Emily (Rachel Kempson) and she's
constantly nagging him that he wants her dead so he can be with one of his young mistresses. They've been married for 18 years
and they've nothing in common and both are cynical and disillusioned, and Henry actually does have a young mistress in the still
a teenager, 18-year old Doris (Ann Blyth). So, Henry Maurier is a rich, bored, unhappy and cynical man with a much too young
lover, but still, he's slightly likeable (in a way that Boyer normally wasn't in his films as he, as i remember, often portrayed slick and
slimy characters with a french accent) and the question is - could he possibly be the Bad Guy ?

Friends and neighbours of the Mauriers are the Spences, and Emily complains to Miss Janet Spence (Jessica Tandy) an unmarried
and somewhat attractive women in her late 30's that Henry would be happy if she died.
When Henry comes home after an evening with his lover he finds out that Emily has died suddenly from a heart-attack and that Janet
was the only one by her side. When Henry re-marries quickly with 18-year old Doris everything seems to be copacetic for him,
but .... the bitter Henry-hating ex-Maurier household nurse (Mildred Natwick) , now with the Spences household (nursing old Mr.
Spencer) , accuses him of having Emily killed with poison, and an exhumation of the body takes place.

The film is presented in 4:3 fullscreen original ratio, black & white with an DD mono english audio, region 2 DVD

 

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