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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Blanche Fury,
    filmed in the year I was born, 1947, and released in by J. Arthur Rank in 1948, is one of the most haunting and beautiful Victorian period melodramas ever to be made in Great Britain (yes, Britain really was great in those days, even if we had just come through six years of war). Lavishly produced and filmed in glowing three-strip Technicolor, it is British film noir at its most brooding and impressive. The story, based on a real event, takes place in Staffordshire in the period 1858 to 1860. Blanche Fuller (Valerie Hobson) is asked by her rich uncle, Simon Fury (Walter Fitzgerald) to travel to Clare Hall, his beautiful country mansion, and be governess to Lavinia (Suzanne Gibbs), the young daughter of his widowed son Lawrence (Michael Gough) and it is there that she meets and falls in love with Philip Thorne (Stewart Granger), an illegitimate Fury who believes that the estate is rightfully his. Blanche, although in love with Philip, agrees to marry Lawrence…a marriage doomed from the start as she reluctantly goes along with a plan by Philip to do away with both Lawrence and Simon. In the guise of a gypsy with a known grudge against his victims, he shoots them dead from ambush, hoping that he can then marry Blanche and inherit the estate. But, when he decides to kill Lavinia as well, Blanche turns him in to the law, realising that his love for the estate is stronger than his love for her…

    The location scenes for the film were shot at Wootton Lodge (which stood in for Clare Hall), a magnificent three-storey Georgian mansion at Upper Ellastone on the Derbyshire – Staffordshire border and on the surrounding Weaver Hills, as well as on Dunstable Downs in Bedfordshire. Clifton Parker’s music score was excellent, as was the direction by Marc Allegret and the script, cinematography and performances were all superb.

    IMAGES FROM THE TOP DOWN: The front cover and centre pages pictorial souvenir published in Picture Show magazine, dated March 20th, 1948; Two colour portraits of Stewart Granger and Valerie Hobson as they appeared in the film from F. Maurice Speed’s Film Review annual; Two frames from the film and a location photo taken on Dunstable Downs in June, 1947.















    Last edited by darrenburnfan; 21-10-13 at 02:28 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    BELOW: Stewart Granger addresses Michael Gough and Valerie Hobson (both in horseback)
    as the Technicolor camera films the scene from Blanche Fury.

    An on location press photo taken on the Weaver Hills in Staffordshire in the summer of 1947
    and scanned from the 1949 Picture Show annual, which was published in late 1948.

    Last edited by darrenburnfan; 21-10-13 at 04:45 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    Great pics once again David, all never seen before, it really is great to have you back on the forum again sharing your knowledge and images..

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Thanks, Mark. The location shot taken on the Weaver Hills was scanned from a small photo in Picture Show annual, which is why it's not as clear as some of the others, but it's of historical importance, so I thought I would upload it. There's a wealth of information in these old film annuals and magazines that's impossible to find anywhere else on the Internet.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: Ireland
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    My aunt who passed away a few years ago at 94, was an old friend of Cherry London who played Molly..
    She always watched the film when it came on which was quite often.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Without playing the film to check, I think that the Molly whom Cherry London played was the barmaid in the pub in Stafford. Unfortunately, there is no information about her on the IMDb, except that Blanche Fury was her only film. According to Picture Show annual, a lot of local people in the Wootton Lodge area of Staffordshire were recruited as extras in the film to play the gypsies, ect. When you consider that this film was being made when I was a baby in my cot in Stockport in 1947, it just goes to show how long I've been around.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Frames from the film.




















  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: England billy farmer's Avatar
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    Darrenburnfan, you have posted some great images on this Thread, i can't remember ever having seen Blanche Fury (1948), earlier this year i watched This Is Your Life - Stewart Granger (1980).

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Thanks, Billy. I'm surprised you haven't yet been able to see Blanche Fury, as it's been shown on television many times over the years, usually on Channel 4 or Film 4, although it's also been on BBC 2 a few times as well.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: France
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    I have seen "Blanche Fury", courtesy of a British friend who recorded many British films for me decades ago (including some really elusive titles that Channel 4 regularly programmed), and I remember it for its flamboyant Technicolor and its impressive cast. I always loved these Victorian melodramas. And only some years ago it was shown on French television during a retrospective of British cinema. Simply brilliant.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Glad you like it, Sweeney. It was made in the days when film stars such as Stewart Granger and Valerie Hobson looked and acted like mature adults, while many of today's 'adult' stars just come across as immature big kids.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    BELOW: Wootton Lodge as it looks today in 2013. In the film's view from the Weaver Hills in 1947, Wootton Lodge can be seen clearly in the distance.
    But in the 66 years that have passed since then, the trees surrounding the lodge have now grown taller to the extent that they have obscured the view
    and the lodge can no longer be seen from the Weaver Hills.


  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    BELOW: Philip and Blanche realise they can have no future together as long as her husband and uncle are still alive.



  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: Australia lllIIlllIIlllIIl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan View Post
    Frames from the film….
    ...
    That frame of the blue room always reminds me of that other remarkable blue room.
    BDDefinition-BlackNarcissus-c-1080.jpg

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Yes, directors in those days seemed to like using blue in Technicolor films.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: England billy farmer's Avatar
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    Daily Mirror, February 20th 1948 - One was there to see the other.



  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Interesting article, Billy. I wonder who Miss Jean M'Fadyean was.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: England billy farmer's Avatar
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    Daily Mirror, October 30th 1947 - It's all a mistake.



  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Very interesting, Billy. I imagine these images are off some kind of CD. If only they had photographed the pages in a higher definition.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Country: Australia IlllIIllllIIii's Avatar
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    I knew the film was was directed by Marc All�gret (1900–1973) who made 51 films in France (of which I've seen only 2).

    But this morning I discovered that All�gret was employed in his late teenage years as a companion to his tutor— Andr� Gide, novelist and Nobel Prize winner!

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