One of the main attractions of the early Gainsborough melodramas (The Man in Grey, Fanny by Gaslight) is Arthur Crabtree's atmospheric lighting. His touch is evident here, too, but doesn't really compensate for the mess he makes of directing this tale of schizoid sexuality and Florentine low-life. Calvert, the epitome of '40s respectability, displays a surprising sensuality as the woman raped in adolescence by a gypsy and subsequently developing a split personality, but the emotional impact of the scenes in the Seven Moons and its seedy environs is dissipated in subplots that are silly, clumsy and grindingly boring. Crabtree's melodrama collapses around his ears, but there are real gems among the debris. Just think of England while you wait for them to turn up.
Madonna of the Seven Moons
Cast and crew