Corridor of Mirrors (1948)

Article #1349 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-23-2004
Posting Date: 4-22-2005
Directed by Terence Young
Featuring Eric Portman, Edana Romney, Joan Maude

A woman remembers her tragic romance with an artist who lives in the past.

Fantastic content: Before the story is through, both reincarnation and madness enter into the mix.

For me, the high point in the movie comes about ten minutes in; a woman leaves her husband and children for a trip to London to meet her lover in Madame Tussaud’s wax museum, and it turns out her lover is one of the exhibits. This discovery was intriguing enough that I found myself forgiving the somewhat pretentious, arty style that led up to that moment. The story itself that follows is actually quite good, but it’s the style of the direction that drives me up the wall; there is too much self-consciously subtle dialogue, too many contrived camera angles, and too many “poetically evocative” scenes that only serve to distract me and distance me from the action. I’d forgive it all if it helped me to warm up to the central characters; as it is, Eric Portman comes out all right because he manages to deliver his lines with enough conviction to win me over, but Edana Romney just comes across as shallow and pretentious. I ended up disliking her character intensely; unfortunately, I think we’re supposed to like her. Things loosen up a little in the last half hour, but once the story was over, I was left with the feeling that it would have all worked better with a more straightforward style; I don’t think it warranted the arty approach it was given. The director would later go on to direct some of the James Bond films, and the movie features one of the earliest appearances of Christopher Lee.

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