The Woman in White Warner Brothers 1948

Well after the very entertaining audio drama I thought I’d check this out on-screen.

This adaptation was made by Warner Brothers in 1948 and generally speaking what an appallingly acted piece of work it is.

Directed by Peter Godfrey and the screenplay is by Stephen Morehouse Avery. It stars Alexis Smith (Marian Halcombe), Eleanor Parker (Laura Fairlie/Ann Catherick), Sydney Greenstreet (Count Alessandro Fosco), Gig Young (Walter Hartright), Agnes Moorehead (Countess Fosco), John Abbott (Frederick Fairlie), John Emery (Sir Percival Glyde) and Curt Bois (Louis).

As with all adaptations they tend to stray from the original piece but this just flees in the opposite direction. For instance we never meet Pesca who brings the drama into play by rewarding his friend Walter Hartright with a position as a drawing master at Limmeridge House. Hartright falls in love with Laura but end up married to Marian and doesn’t see anything hondurus but heads off to Italy instead!

Fosco and Glyde plot to get Lauras money as per the novel but now Frederick Fairlie is in on it which is ridiculous although John Abbott play Fairlie brilliantly.

Blackwater, the seat of the Glyde family is missing as is the last part of the death of Glyde at the church at Old Welmingham and the ‘brotherhood’ and the revenge of Fosco and his lack of foreign accent and very, very poor attempt by Gig Young to put on an English accent which he clearly gives up  as the film continues.

All in all just a complete mess and an insult to Wilkie Collins novel.


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