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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 9, No. 1. March 1, 1946

Madonna of the Seven Moons

Madonna of the Seven Moons

To quote G.M., it is a story of sin and schizophrenia in Italy. A story which may or may not make a social point depending on one's beliefs, but I would not feel justified in saying that this film is intended to be more than a particularly tense and unknowable drama of a case of dual personality. Phyllis Calvert is the victim of a sexual assault when a schoolgirl which materialises in adulthood as a double life: a process which is not defined in the development of the theme. It is a fault of psychological dramas that the relations between cause and effect are too often excluded from the substance of the action, or even worse, are inaccurate or pander to naive concepts. In all these methods there is an impression of artificiality and unconvincingness. And this is an effect that detracts from the power of the Madonna to enthral. Uniquely enough, some of the advertising blurb which accompanied the film is actually justified in the seeing. By this I mean that there are not a few ingeniously contrived situations where the atmosphere and play are intelligent and feasible enough to arouse even those who go along to impress their companions with a blasé apathy.

Unknowable was the adjective which I used to classify one of the two main elements of the action and for that reason I would refrain from giving an outline of its development; suffice it to say that the plot is highly intriguing and unlikely.

For those who like drastic characters and can stand almost unrelieved unhappiness, this is a film to see at once.