If you put Cocteau’s La Belle et la bête
, Hitchcock’s Rebecca
, and Otto Preminger’s Laura
in a blender and hit frappé, you might end up with something like the film I saw today, Corridor of Mirrors (1948)
, although it was not as good as that list of ingredients might lead one to expect. Perhaps the recipe included the instruction, Strain out any magnetic actors or memorable lines.
There was no one as interesting as Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, Judith Anderson, or Clifton Webb; and no dialogue as evocative as “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again,” or as sharp as, “I’m not kind, I’m vicious. It’s the secret of my charm.”
What it does have: enormous, eyepopping sets; gorgeous costumes (many apparently inspired by 16th-century Venice); and a scenario chock full of class issues, D/s vibes, fetishism, necrophilia, and nods to Othello
and Bluebeard. I would urge fans of The Phantom of the Opera
(particularly Andrew Lloyd Webber’s version) to buy a copy, if it were available on DVD,
In conclusion, I’m glad I saw it, although the peevish little man in the seat to my left announced “What a terrible movie! I slept through the whole thing!” as the lights came up. I was tempted to ask how he’d formed an opinion if he’d been unconscious, but refrained for fear he’d answer me.P.S.: The heroine was named Mifanwy Conway, and she was half-Italian, half-Welsh. Captain Jack Harkness would hit that so hard, they’d end up halfway to China.