This Was a Woman

1948, U.K., 100m, DCP

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Screened May 11, 2022

By all appearances, the Russells are a happy, well-respected family. Behind closed doors, they are in fact being dominated by a sadistic matriarch (Sonia Dresdel, The Fallen Idol). Based on the successful stage play by silent film actress and screenwriter Joan Morgan, this 1948 noir sets evil as mother, with Mrs. Russell sabotaging the health and happiness of her husband and children. Dresdel sinks her teeth into the part with the power and relish which would later lead critic Philip Hope-Wallace to say, “She would have been the Lady Macbeth of all Lady Macbeths.”

A film by Tim Whelan