Friday, February 05, 2010

Tonight's Movie: Woman Hater (1948)

WOMAN HATER is a rather plodding British romantic comedy starring Stewart Granger and French actress Edwige Feuillere.

Feuillere plays a famous Garbo-like actress, Colette Marly, who wants her privacy and is tired of men, in particular. On a bet, the "woman hating" Lord Terence Datchett sets out to prove that Colette isn't really tired of men. Although they've never met, Datchett sends a letter inviting Colette to vacation on his estate while he's away; when she accepts the invitation, Datchett then impersonates his estate manager and woos her. Colette finds out Datchett's true identity and sets out to turn the tables on him.

It's a cute premise and Granger is charming, as always, but he and Feuillere have absolutely zero chemistry. I'm a bit baffled by her casting as the leading lady, as she seems considerably older than Granger, and it simply doesn't come off as a likely romantic pairing. (And as an aside, I didn't care for her wardrobe, either.) Individual scenes are amusing, but as a whole the film was overlong and lacking in romantic spark.

Aside from Granger, the movie's bright spots are its supporting performances: Mary Jerrold as Lord Datchett's sweet mother, Ronald Squire as his droll butler, and Jeanne De Casalis as Colette's cunning maid.

WOMAN HATER is a black and white film. It was directed by Terence Young, who would go on to direct Sean Connery as 007 in DR. NO (1962), FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (1963), and THUNDERBALL (1965).

The DVD print I watched ran 97 minutes. Curiously, Leonard Maltin's CLASSIC MOVIE GUIDE lists a 70-minute running time, while IMDb says it runs 105 minutes.

WOMAN HATER is available on Region 2 DVD as part of the 12-film Stewart Granger Collection. The print was somewhat faded but otherwise in good condition.

This movie also appears to have had a video release in the United States.

For an alternate point of view on WOMAN HATER, visit the blog Old is Gold.


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