A Place of One’s Own (1945)

Autumn officially arrives tomorrow. It’s my favorite time of year and I eagerly look forward to cooler temperatures and longer nights. As summer gives way to fall my appetite for things that go bump in the night becomes almost insatiable and nothing’s quite as satisfying as a good ghost story. I’ve been reading a lot of spooky Victorian tales lately, which inspired me to revisit Bernard Knowles’ supernatural thriller, A PLACE OF ONE’S OWN (1945).

When I first watched A PLACE OF ONE’S OWN a few months ago I wasn’t fully engaged with the film and it didn’t leave much of an impression on me. I knew I had to watch it again before I shared my thoughts on it and I’m so glad I took the time to reconsider this fascinating little British movie.

It’s important to note that A PLACE OF ONE’S OWN was produced by Gainsborough Pictures during the company’s final years. Bad business decisions, the stress of WW2 and increasing competition from other studios such as Ealing, Pinewood, Denham and the powerful Rank Organisation had lessened Gainsborough’s ability to capture the British public’s imagination. When Gainsborough produced A PLACE OF ONE’S OWN the studio was best known for making period costume B-movies with questionable morals held together by stellar actors such as James Mason, Margaret Lockwood, Stewart Granger, Dennis Price and Patricia Roc. A PLACE OF ONE’S OWN was one of the studio’s less successful pictures but it’s undoubtedly one of their most interesting. It suffers from a low-budget, questionable casting decisions and awkward editing choices. But while watching the film a second time I was won over by its gentle Victorian manner, quick dialogue and intriguing plot twists. This unusual romantic thriller isn’t as polished as other exceptional supernatural films from the ‘40s such as THE UNINVITED (1944), THE GHOST AND MRS MUIR (1947) and THE PORTRAIT OF JENNIE (1948) but it has its own unique charm.

Continue reading “Something Is Always Left Behind” at Turner Classic Movies official blog: The Movie Morlocks