Three Wicked Melodramas from Gainsborough Pictures [1945] [Criterion] (DVD)

Leslie Arliss and Arthur Crabtree

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3-Disc, Collection.


The Man In GreyThis tale of treachery put both the Gainsborough melodrama and actor James Mason on the map. The star-to-be plays Lord Rohan, a cruel nobleman who marries the naive and sweet-natured Clarissa (Phyllis Calvert) for the sole purpose of producing an heir; meanwhile, Clarissa's conniving best friend, Hesther (Margaret Lockwood), secretly plots against her for her own nefarious ends. The Man in Grey, directed by Leslie Arliss (The Wicked Lady), was such a box-office success that Gainsborough used it as a template, launching a cycle of increasingly rococo films.

Madonna Of The Seven MoonsA lurid tale of sex and psychosis, Madonna of the Seven Moons, directed by Arthur Crabtree (Fiend Without a Face), is among the wildest of the Gainsborough melodramas. Set in Italy, it begins as a relatively composed tale about a respectable, convent-raised woman (Phyllis Calvert) who is haunted by the memory of being raped as a teenager. When her grown daughter returns from school, her life begins to crack up in monumentally surprising ways. Stewart Granger also plays a prominent role in this sensational tale.

The Wicked LadyMargaret Lockwood devours the screen as a tightly wound seventeenth-century beauty with loose morals, who steals her best friend's wealthy fiancé on the eve of their wedding. And that's only the beginning of this piece of pulp from director Leslie Arliss (The Man in Grey): there are no depths to which this sinful woman won't sink. James Mason costars, and nearly steals the movie, as a highwayman with whom our antiheroine becomes entangled. This nasty, subversive treat was the most commercially successful of all the Gainsborough melodramas.

Product Details

  • Starring: James Mason, Margaret Lockwood, Phyllis Calvert, Patricia Roc, Stewart Granger
  • Format: Black & White, DVD, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Label: The Criterion Collection
  • Run Time: 330 minutes
  • Catalogue #: 162
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