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IanPatrickMovieReviews

"Blanche Fury" 1948 Video Movie Review - Get the Tissue Box Ready!

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This is a film that TopBilled and I decided to review together! I have not seen anything he had to say about the movie yet, but I will after posting this. "Blanche Fury" is a must watch for the Victorian era fans! This is one of those movies where I had a lot to talk about.

 

Enjoy the review and be sure to subscribe on YouTube or leave a comment! I love discussing these movies with you all. This is the entire purpose of me doing these reviews.

 

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Interesting review. Of course, I think I love this film considerably more than you do! So I'd give it 3.5 stars. Some comments--

 

Regarding Granger's character...he's obsessed with his heritage, his right to belong to the society that surrounds him but ultimately rejects him. His obsession, like Heathcliff's is what drives the film (as well as her needing to belong in a stable environment). They have that much in common, and I think you touched on some of this.

 

I don't think the film did as well as they hoped, because it's a little too deep for audiences that want a soft melodrama. But it's the profound nature of the story that resonates with me most. We get this sequence in the beginning where she is dying while giving birth but we don't really know it all nor do we know the circumstances because it soon cuts to a flashback. After the entire story is told and we return to the birthing scene, we are given more than her death and her passage beyond this life. We are shown a great irony, namely that she has named the son after Granger's character, so in a dramatic turn of events, a Phillip Thorn (the next Phillip Thorn) does inherit the estate. 

 

Allegret's ending is shocking, because we are reeling at participating in her death with her, then we get this knowledge that the so-called circle of life has been completed and the Fury estate (not the Blanche estate) and Phillip Thorn are forever connected. 

 

Going back, for a moment, to your comments on the final act of the narrative-- she has a major change of heart. She turns him in, because she realizes that the murders were wrong and that because she is now pregnant (which is revealed at the trial), she has to make sure the sins of the father are cleansed before the son is born. As I said, there is a lot happening in this film and the visuals are in a way deceptive, because we have the trappings of a decadent Victorian lifestyle, but we also have some naked truths about these characters and their intertwined destinies. 

 

One thing that I thought was absolutely brilliant the way the story was structured is that the gypsies bring them together in the beginning (retrieving the horses) but the gypsies and the hoax surrounding the murders, is also what tears them apart. So we have a great example of the subplot conveying the deeper themes and having a direct affect on the main plot. And speaking of the horse, the scene of the girl dying reminded me a lot of the one in GONE WITH THE WIND.

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Topbilled, you certainly noticed a lot more than I did about the film! I'm really impressed, and I think you're right that I would have to watch the film multiple times to catch all these little details that make the film great. For example, I did not even think about what you said about the gypsies. One thing I forgot to mention in my review was how the director depicted gypsies as essentially bad people (definitely not the gypsies in "Golden Earrings!")...this was a bit controversial at the time. 

 

My review is I guess a "first impressions" review. I really like reading what you had to say because it is more of an in depth film study review. 

You will probably laugh because I COMPLETELY forgot about the opening scene of her on her death bed! LOL So much drama happened throughout the course of the film that I totally forgot the film was basically one big flashback! 

 

I'll be honest, when I saw the little girl riding her horse to make the jump, I thought "Oh come on! She's going to make the jump...and then Valerie Hobson will realize that she was wrong about Granger trying to murder the little girl." When I saw the little girl fail the jump and die I was  :o  :o  :o !

I was pretty shocked as I'm sure most audiences back then were...

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Topbilled, you certainly noticed a lot more than I did about the film! I'm really impressed, and I think you're right that I would have to watch the film multiple times to catch all these little details that make the film great. For example, I did not even think about what you said about the gypsies. One thing I forgot to mention in my review was how the director depicted gypsies as essentially bad people (definitely not the gypsies in "Golden Earrings!")...this was a bit controversial at the time. 

 

My review is I guess a "first impressions" review. I really like reading what you had to say because it is more of an in depth film study review. 

 

You will probably laugh because I COMPLETELY forgot about the opening scene of her on her death bed! LOL So much drama happened throughout the course of the film that I totally forgot the film was basically one big flashback! 

 

I'll be honest, when I saw the little girl riding her horse to make the jump, I thought "Oh come on! She's going to make the jump...and then Valerie Hobson will realize that she was wrong about Granger trying to murder the little girl." When I saw the little girl fail the jump and die I was  :o  :o  :o !

I was pretty shocked as I'm sure most audiences back then were...

Thanks. I enjoyed reading your first impressions.

 

As for the gypsies-- maybe it wasn't so much that they were seen as criminals but how someone like Phillip Thorn could manipulate public sentiment against the gypsies to suggest they were not just thieves but they were also murderers (when they were innocent). It's an interesting layer in this kind of story. 

 

I suppose the writers felt they had to kill the girl off, to show there was no doubt his son gets the estate. But it's shocking. I love the way it's edited-- how Lavinia falling to her death is synchronized with the bell tolling that Thorn's been hanged. It's a real jolt.

 

You mentioned the way he murders the cousin and the uncle earlier in the story, and that is just as jarring. We are lulled into a false sense of tranquility, then we get these plot twists that pull us right into a storm of violence and overwhelming emotions.

 

And what about that great character actress at the beginning-- the one who played Mrs. Winterbourne, the crotchety old woman Blanche works for when she receives the letter from her cousin. This film has carefully defined characters and superb performances.

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I really love Valerie Hobson's films and like this one especially.  Blanche Fury is unique and has some great photography.  Valerie looks lovely in color in this Victorian melodrama..  Her acting in this film was special and so was Stewart Granger.  A good way of describing the plot is the mention of the their inter-woven destinies.  Stewart portrays the bitter, illegitimate man who wants justice done.  Ultimately the tragedy of thehorse accident does remind me of Gone With the Wind.  I will check out your review on You Tube.

 

A on-going mystery to me is why Valerie's part  of Biddy the governess was cut from the '34 Great Expectations.   I had actually seen and taped this film in the early 80's, but taped over it to tape another film.  Sadly, on subsequent airings the film (and this includes the professional copies!) is missing her scenes and some others that explain more fully the loss of Pip's sister.  For thirty years I have sought the film in its entirety but cannot find it.   Though she portrays Estella in the 1940's version, this one is special too.

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