Madonna of the Seven Moons (1945)

Article #1006 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-16-2003
Posting Date: 5-14-2004
Directed by Arthur Crabtree
Featuring Phyllis Calvert, Stewart Granger, Patricia Roc

A free-spirited woman returns home to see if she can brighten the life of her somewhat repressed mother. She discovers that her mother has been suffering from some mysterious illness that is being kept a mystery. Then when her mother disappears one night, she decides to find the truth for herself.

Without giving too much away, the fantastic aspects of this movie are tied to the nature of the mother’s illness, that the illness is mental in nature, and that it really remains on the marginal side as far as fantastic movies are concerned. The exact nature of the illness is kept secret for a goodly portion of the first part of the movie, and up to this point, the movie is a talky drama; things don’t really begin to move until the mother disappears, and the movie becomes more of a melodrama/thriller. It’s quite effective at times, though it occasionally flirts with campiness; even though certain individual reactions come across as more comic than dramatic, it never really becomes a parody of itself. Also, at an hour and forty-five minutes, it runs on a bit too long, but the ending is effective, and it’s a satisfying movie for those patient enough to endure the talky first third.

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