Monday, 13 January 2014

A Place of One's Own (1945)

A Place of One's Own (1945) is a British film directed by Bernard Knowles. An impressive ghost story based on the novel by Osbert Sitwell, it stars James Mason, Barbara Mullen, Margaret Lockwood, Dennis Price and Dulcie Gray. Mason and Mullen are unnaturally aged to play the old couple. It was one of the cycles of Gainsborough Melodramas.

Mr and Mrs Smedhurst (James Mason and Barbara Mullen) is a business couple wanting to give up work. They find a mansion in the country, Bellingham House, at a bargain price. They move in along with their servants and soon learn the house is apparently ghostly – but Mr Smedhurst especially is skeptical of the paranormal myth. 

They invite a young companion, Annette (Margaret Lockwood), to join them but within days of arriving she gradually begins hearing strange voices. The new owners learn that a young invalid girl was deemed to have been murdered 40 years before in the house – and their presumptions of the supernatural are challenged.

When the spirit of the murdered girl acquires Annette, her health declines considerably and soon she’s at death's door. A young doctor, Dr Selbie (Dennis Price), has fallen deeply in love with Annette and tries to heal her but to no avail. In a state of delirium, Annette calls for old Dr Marsham (Ernest Thesiger), the GP who had attended to the dead girl 40 years before.