6.7/10
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13 user 6 critic

A Woman's Vengeance (1948)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery | 14 May 1948 (Mexico)
A cheating husband is charged in the poisoning death of his invalid wife, in spite of other women and suicide also being suspected.

Director:

Zoltan Korda

Writers:

Aldous Huxley (screenplay), Aldous Huxley (short story "The Gioconda Smile")
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charles Boyer ... Henry Maurier
Ann Blyth ... Doris Mead
Jessica Tandy ... Janet Spence
Cedric Hardwicke ... Dr. James Libbard
Mildred Natwick ... Nurse Caroline Braddock
Cecil Humphreys Cecil Humphreys ... General Spence
Hugh French ... Robert Lester
Rachel Kempson ... Emily Maurier
Valerie Cardew Valerie Cardew ... Clara
Carl Harbord Carl Harbord ... Leslie Blake
John Williams ... Prosecuting Counsel
Leyland Hodgson ... First Warder
Ola Lorraine Ola Lorraine ... Maisey
Harry Cording ... Chauffeur McNabb
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Storyline

Country squire Henry Maurier is patient with his wife Emily, a neurotic invalid, but her brother surprises Henry with his young mistress Doris. The same night, Emily dies of her chronic heart disease, and Henry promptly marries Doris, to the chagrin of neighbor Janet Spence, who loves him. When a post-mortem shows that Emily's death was precipitated by arsenic, Henry is placed on trial for his life. But is he guilty? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 May 1948 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

The Gioconda Smile See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on March 22, 1948 with Charles Boyer and Ann Blyth reprising their film roles. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Libbard: Some women cry as easily as a pig grunts. And enjoy it very nearly as much.
See more »

Connections

Version of ITV Play of the Week: The Gioconda Smile (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Women are nutters
21 March 2011 | by AAdaSCSee all my reviews

The very annoying Emily (Rachel Kempson) is not in good health. Thankfully, she dies. However, her death is treated suspiciously and number one suspect is husband Henry (Charles Boyer). He doesn't help matters by immediately marrying 18 year old Doris (Ann Blyth) who he has been having an affair with for a few months.

This film has a good cast, especially Jessica Tandy as Henry's friend "Janet", Cedric Hardwick as "Dr Libbard" and Mildred Natwick as "Nurse Braddock". Boyer is good but Blyth is very irritating in a Shirley Temple kind of way. The film drags whenever she is on screen.

The film has many good scenes, eg, when Janet and Henry are in the house sheltering from a violent storm - the use of German Expressionism in this scene (the use of darkness and lightning) will tell you all you need to know. Similarly, another good scene is when Janet visits Henry the day before his execution (the way the scene is framed will stick in your mind). And the scenes between Janet and Dr Libbard towards the end of the film are crammed with tension. I found that the film also had a particularly good moment of philosophical dialogue when Henry verbalized his acceptance of death to Doris.

You will, no doubt, guess who the guilty party is from the beginning but it's still a good film to watch again.


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