The Woman in White Reviews
Unfortunately, the movie adaptation from 1948 is a mixed bag. It stumbles early with the initial meeting of the ‚~woman in white‚(TM) by a man on a road at night. Wilkie Collins‚(TM) friend Charles Dickens considered it to be one of the most dramatic descriptions in literature, but in the film, there is no ethereal shock, and it comes across as a pretty simple meeting. The film captures the dress and language reasonably well though, and there are a couple of excellent performances - Sydney Greenstreet as the mastermind Count Fosco, and John Abbott as Frederick Fairlie, lord of the estate, who is demented, highly eccentric, and fragile. Some of his lines early on to his beleaguered servant Louis are quite funny. I should also say that Eleanor Parker is also fine in her dual role, and Alexis Smith is pretty good as her cousin too ‚" so there are no issues with the cast.
There are two main problems as I see it, and the first is with the story itself, which asks the viewer to swallow a somewhat convoluted plot with some pretty big coincidences. What worked in installment form, or even in the published novel in 1860, is hard to translate successfully to film. The second issue is in cinematography, and overall tone. While it has a few nice moments, it‚(TM)s just not striking or tense enough, starting with that scene on the road at night, and continuing on through the movie. The result is that you‚(TM)ve got a story teetering on the edge of being creaky, filmed in a way that pushes it over that edge. Watch it for the performances, or if you‚(TM)re a fan of the novel and want to see an old film version, maybe to compare it to the 2018 BBC mini-series version.
Okay but only that.