Monday, December 16, 2013
Joan Fontaine (1917-2013)
Great films both (though the alteration of the novel's ending in Suspicion is controversial), but I want to take this opportunity to take note of the 1947 Joan Fontaine film Ivy, a period murder melodrama adapted from The Story of Ivy (1927), by Marie Belloc Lowndes, an under-appreciated crime writer (she's almost solely known today for one work, the much-filmed Jack-the-Ripper tale The Lodger).
Sadly, Ivy is not available on DVD, but let this be my plea to see it released as such. It's a splendid old Victorian crime story, with a wicked woman (Fontaine), adultery, arsenic and annihilation.
Also in the cast are Herbert Marshall, Richard Ney and Patric Knowles, but except for a brief scene-stealing cameo as a fortune teller from Una O'Connor it is Joan Fontaine's show all the way. Watch it if you get the chance.
Incidentally, here's the Suspense radio version of The Story of Ivy, starring Ann Richards.