Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
United Kingdom, 1958. Maurice Cowan Productions, The Rank Organisation. Screenplay by Janet Green, based on the novel Darkness I Love You by Nina Warner Hooks. Cinematography by Jack Hildyard. Produced by Maurice Cowan. Music by Hans May. Production Design by Richard Macdonald. Costume Design by Julie Harris. Film Editing by Reginald Beck.
Keith Michell stars as an English lord and perpetual rogue who finds himself bewitched by a half-English, half-gypsy woman (Melina Mercouri) traipsing about his lands. He moves her into his house for a few laughs, and eventually convinces himself that she is worthy to be the lady of the household and marries her. This happens, of course, much to the objection of his pretty blond sister and a woman he was originally intending to marry, who believe themselves proven right when Mercouri convinces Michell to do the lowest deeds to his own family in the name of saving their family fortune. Mercouri is excellent in the bloodthirsty role, made two years before she would achieve international stardom with Never On Sunday, and Joseph Losey emphasizes a dark, historically believable world where clashes of class result in absolute tragedy. The only drawback is that the two hour running time often feels much longer.