The Man In Grey

The Man In Grey


Reviewed by: Natasha Footman

The Man In Grey has had frequent airs on television, mainly at undesirable times and always after being cut by sometimes over half an hour. This DVD features the full length version of the first Gainsborough costume melodrama, which, unfortunately, is not a good thing.

Edited versions of films are often undermining and lacking in the full substance directors had in mind, which suggests that most of the time they are worse than the original version. However, The Main In Grey is a film of such little substance that its full length is a slow and unmemorable trench through a stereotypical and predictable plot that is best put aside for the shorter version.

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The plot focuses on a three-way love triangle that involves familiar affairs, searches for true love and dangerous jealousy. The beautiful and innocent Clarissa (Phyllis Calvert) enters naively into a marriage with the dashing devil Lord Rohan (James Mason), who cares little for her and is interested only in her fertile womb. Clarissa does indeed have a child and entrusts her old school friend (Margaret Lockwood) as its governess.

From then on the story follows the same old pattern of unfulfilled mother falling for a handsome stranger and outside woman inside the marriage devising an affair with bored husband, who ends up twisted and jealous and killing somebody. Don’t worry, I haven’t spoiled anything. You would have guessed as much after a few minutes into the film.

While the film is placidly enjoyable in a mindless sort of way, the full length version is just too slow to be memorable, filled with pointless scenes that seem to drag on forever. You’d be better taping the shortened version off the telly next time it’s on, which shouldn’t be long.

Reviewed on: 26 Jan 2007
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The Man In Grey packshot
The first film of the Gainsborough costume melodramas is a stereotypical rendition of love, lies and murder.
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Director: Leslie Arliss

Writer: Leslie Arliss, Margaret Kennedy, based on a novel by Eleanor Smith

Starring: James Mason, Margaret Lockwood, Phyllis Calvert, Stewart Granger, Harry Scott, Martita Hunt, Helen Haye, Beatrice Varley, Raymond Lovell, Nora Swinburne

Year: 1943

Runtime: 90 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: UK


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