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United Kingdom 1950
Directed by
Michael Powell / Emeric Pressburger
110 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
4 stars

Gone To Earth

Taking many of the elements familiar from 19th century English literature, but in particular the conflict between the raw and the cooked, Powell and Pressburger's gorgeously stylized film follows the story of free-spirited Hazel (Jennifer Jones) in late 1800s Somerset who marries the bookish sensitive country parson (Cyril Cusack) but can't resist the charms of the caddish country squire (David Farrar) and, of course, pays the price.

Photographed by Christopher Challis, the team give full rein to their love of Home County rural life with loving depictions of bucolic rusticity and rolling downs whilst at the same time superbly staging the melodramatic aspects (a wonderful example of which being the way in which Squire Reddin's shadow falls over Hazel during the consummation scene). Jennifer Jones is fetching as the superstitious, headstrong Hazel, Cyril Cusack gives probably his most memorable screen performance, David Farrar makes for a credible bounder and Hugh Griffith gives a winning turn as Vessons, the squire's grumpy old man-servant.

The film was chopped to 82 minutes by its co-producer David O. Selznick, who was married to Jones, and who had new scenes, directed by Robert Mamoulian, inserted and was re-titled The Wild Heart for its 1952 release in America where it duly tanked.




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