Bedelia (1946)

The Vera Caspary novel Bedelia from 1945 in a nice US Popular Library pocket book edition
from 1946 with cover art from Baryé Philips (1924-1969). The cover depicts British actress
Margaret Lockwood from the English 1946 production of the film

Caspary, was a fine author of psychological crime dramas and her Great Noir 1945 melodrama
Bedelia
is very recommended, a story about a man and a noir looser anti-hero obsessed with a psychotic
femme fatale. This later Caspary novel definitely could've inspired the great Cornell Woolrich to his maybe
most powerful novel masterpiece, the 1947 Waltz Into Darkness - read more about this on my Film Noir
& Pulp Fiction page.

The British film changed the novel's setting from the US to England and removed/cleaned up the risky
ingredients of a mans (sexual) obsession with a psychotic murderess to a more typical stiff british chap
in the shape of Ian Hunter. A totally non-obsessed and sensible man.
The film is far from a Noir landmark, maybe a bit more bland and dull than the US genre films, but it's a
totally OK film with a ditto totally fine Margaret Lockwood and the film is watchable

Text below written 2016-06-22

Bedelia

At the beginning of the film The Artist Ben Chaney (Barry K. Barnes) narrates to us, just like Clifton Webb
did in the earlier Vera Caspary film Laura, that he first met Bedelia in Monte Carlo.
She's there on her honeymoon with older husband Charlie Carrington (Ian Hunter) and the ... maybe smitten ?
artist wants to paint her portrait. But, the couple returns to Yorkshire, England and Charlie's mansion in the
countryside. Bedelia seems satisfied with her new life but she's really happy when she hear the news that Charlie
has risen the amount of his life insurance.

At christmas Ben Chaney appears again, supposedly to paint her portrait and he hires a close-by cottage.
Suddenly Charlie gets sick, could he have eaten something bad, or has someone put something in the food ?

I saw this on Youtube in glorious black and white and in fullscreen ratio and in great picture quality.
Not really a low budget production, it look good with clothes and settings even though the Monte Carlo scene
looks very much as a studio setting and the houses in the Yorkshire countryside overview clearly are miniatures

 

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