Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. United Kingdom, 1950. The Archers, London Film Productions, Vanguard Films. Screenplay by Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, based on the novel by Mary Webb. Cinematography by Christopher Challis. Produced by Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger. Music by Brian Easdale. Production Design by Hein Heckroth. Costume Design by Ivy Baker, Julia Squire. Film Editing by Reginald Mills.
How many old movies where women sleep with more than one man and then get mortally punished for it by the laws of nature do you have to watch before you throw up? This is a sad misfire from the excellent team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, who here have maintained their excellent production values but present a very unappealing and unimportant story. Jennifer Jones plays a gypsy girl who traipses the English countryside barefoot and communicates with her animal friends. She captures the fancy of a roguish buck (David Farrar), who you just know would be a wild ride in the sack, but she rejects him. Instead, she takes the profferred hand of marriage from a modest pastor (Cyril Cusack) who lives with his strict mother in a country cottage. Unfortunately, Farrar doesn’t give up on his lady just because she’s married, and soon he comes calling for her and she gets herself into a whole mess of trouble. The story is too predictable and Jones’s performance and accent are accurate but annoying.