|SHE PLAYED WITH FIRE (aka: FORTUNE IS A WOMAN) (director/writer: Sidney Gilliat; screenwriter: Frank Launder/Val Valentine /from the novel Fortune is a Woman by Winston Graham ; cinematographer: Gerald Gibbs; editor: Geoffrey Foot; music: William Alwyn; cast: Arlene Dahl (Sarah Moreton), Jack Hawkins (Oliver Bramwell), Dennis Price (Tracey Moreton), Violet Farebrother (Mrs. Moreton), Greta Gynt (Mrs. Vere Litchen), Christopher Lee (Charles Highbury), Bernard Miles (Mr. Jerome), Ian Hunter (Clive Fisher), John Robinson (Berkeley Reckitt), Geoffrey Keen (Michael Abercrombie), Malcolm Keen (Old Abercrombie); Runtime: 95; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Sidney Gilliat/Frank Launder; Sony Pictures; 1957-UK)|
|"In this fine
traditional noir melodrama you have to
decide in the end if the beautiful
Arlene Dahl is an arsonist.
I had no
problem with that."
by Dennis Schwartz
In this fine
traditional noir melodrama you have to decide
in the end if the beautiful Arlene Dahl is an
arsonist. I had no problem with that. Sidney
Rake's Progress"/ "Green For Danger"/ "Only Two Can
Play") directs and Frank Launder writes this time
around, as the talented decade old Brit filmmaker
partners adapt Winston Graham' novel Fortune is a
Woman to the screen.
London, young insurance investigator Oliver
Branwell (Jack Hawkins), with only two years
experience, checks out a small electrical fire, that
damaged several paintings, on a
Christmas Eve assignment from the father and son run
firm he works for, the
Abercrombie insurance company, at the Louis Manor, a
country estate owned by Tracey
Moreton (Dennis Price).
The investigator is surprised that the owner's
sexy wife Sarah (Arlene Dahl) is an old flame. The
former lovers both fail to acknowledge each other.
Even though he suspects foul play, Oliver remains
mum as he desires more than anything else to see
Sarah again. It all leads to an old-fashioned
Hitchcock mystery tale of fires,
fraud, blackmail, art theft, forgery and romance, with
the investigator's rep and career at risk if he
doesn't do his job.
Christopher Lee offers a scene stealing winsome performance as a comically contemptuous Welsh murder suspect and aspiring opera singer.
REVIEWED ON 8/28/2014 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ