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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 9, No. 3. April 13, 1946

"A Place of One's Own"

"A Place of One's Own"

Having been treated to a cycle of ghost and horror stories it is not to be expected that you will find this Gainsborough production very entertaining. Even the connoisseur of "ghoulies and ghosties" will find little that is original except, perhaps, an artistic use of sound-effects' that compares favourably with the riotous clashing of doors, sobbing, and sea-surge of "The Uninvited." The ghost in "A Place of One's Own" is a whisperer-down-speaking-tubes and an accomplished pianist.

The story opens in 1900 when [unclear: Sraedhurst], a retired city business man, buys a rare old house in the country and employs the beautiful Miss Annette (Margaret Lockwood) as a companion for his wife. In the process of falling in love with the handaome local doctor, Miss Annette is possessed by the shade of a former inhabitant, a lovelorn wench, whose ghostly activities cause Annette to pine away through several unconvincing scenes. (In this respect I think "The Uninvited" was tar more satisfying with its mad young lady's trance-ecstacies and mad dashes for the cliff's edge.) Miss Lockwood is too near thirty to portray well the distracted visions of adolescence.

But if the plot is threadbare, the film has saving graces. Osbert Sitwell's novel, from which it is adapted, provided material for excellent minor characterisations. The camera frequently leaves Miss Lockwood's troubled form to introduce a range of people from the sarcastic cook to neighbour Major Manning Tuthorn, all equally well presented.

Also, for the film-fan who is interested in technique, there is some fine camera and art work. The detail of the Smedhurst mansion is truly beautiful. And the general camera-work is very satisfying, particularly the use of the close-up to open scenes. I noted one simple startling allot of a police helmet and cloak thrown over a chair, used to add to the tense atmosphere and introduce a new character.

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