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Fanny by Gaslight (1944)

3 customer reviews

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1 used from £21.99 1 collectible from £29.19

Product details

  • Actors: Phyllis Calvert, James Mason, Stewart Granger, Wilfrid Lawson
  • Directors: Anthony Asquith
  • Format: PAL
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: The Video Collection
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000K67YLM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 171,319 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Returning to 1870's London after finishing at boarding school, Fanny winesses the death of her father in a fight with Lord Manderstoke. She then finds that her family has for many years been running a bordello next door to their home. When her mother dies shortly after, she next discovers that her real father is in fact a well-respected politician. Meeting him and then falling in love with his young advisor Harry Somerford leads to a life of ups and downs and conflict between the classes. Periodically the scoundrel of a Lord crosses her path, always to tragic effect.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Martin S de B Hart on 20 Dec. 2013
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
a good cast performing in a very capable way added to a good crime film . The suspence is carried through to the end of the film .
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Geraldine Mullan on 2 Aug. 2014
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Very satisfactory. Prompt receipt. Would trade again.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jay Jay on 29 Mar. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Played fine as we have an NTSC player and didn't take long to come. Great classic film which we loved.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
AKA Man of Evil 15 May 2001
By Peter Shelley - Published on Amazon.com
This Gainsborough Pictures production directed by Anthony Asquith features James Mason in one of his early supporting roles. Here Mason looks heavier than he would in his later Hollywood period, with unruly hair, no neck and a bullfrog face. His role prefigures his Norman Maine of A Star is Born, as a beastly sensual toff who enjoys slumming with the lower classes, and who periodically crosses Fanny. It’s a pity these crossings are so periodic because Mason is easily the highlight of the film. He brings some energy and a sour taste to the otherwise staid proceedings. Based on the novel by Michael Sadleir, the narrative is meant as an expose of the prejudices of class distinction and parentage of England in the late 1800’s. Fanny begins life at a reasonably respectable station in life, but the discovery that her father secretly operates a meeting place for gentlemen and "actresses" ie a brothel, begins Fanny’s degenerative social spiral. Fanny’s moral purity is demonstrated by her willingness to stoop to servile work, (her fainting when she works in a steamy laundryhouse at her lowest ebb is proof of her sensitivity), and allows for the wealthier characters to look down upon her and thereby reveal their own bigotry. Asquith presents the pleasures of the lower classes without the same judgement, even if we find the belief that those who make these distinctions having a short life span is a liberal social fantasy.... There is an unnoticed irony in Fanny’s situation, since she assumes another name to escape the condemnation associated with hers, yet the original name is one she is not entitled to. However acknowledging this would deprive us of her fall and also end the story prematurely, though considering how Asquith makes it lag, that isn’t altogether a bad idea. As Fanny, Phyllis Calvert has a scene of physical anguish that rivals Lillian Gish in the silents - but overall she's about as generic as Stewart Granger is as her love interest. Margaretta Scott is fun as a woman Fanny works for, and Cathleen Nesbitt as Granger’s disapproving sister has a marvellous scowl. Asquith gives Mason an amusing entrance, with women turning their faces away from him, and a fistfight is entertaining in it’s ridiculousness. There is the shocking period detail of women in a corralled space in a restaurant, waiting to be rescued by a gentleman to be "made love to", and an editing cut from Calvert screaming to a trial testimony.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Enjoyable 8 Mar. 2004
By david mills - Published on Amazon.com
This film, I believe, started a spate of similar cinema ("The Wicked Lady," etc.)It was made cerca 1945 and seems remarkably frank for the era (a thinly disguised brothel, Fanny's being born out of wedlock, class distinctions and prejudice). The performances are more than adequate, the production values good (British cinema, in the main, not having Hollywood's wealth), and the ending not too treacly. James Mason does stand out as the villain, and the pistol duel that brings about his demise believable. As an historical detail, duelling was practiced illegally in many countries, though I don't think the film mentions whether it was banned in the France depicted in the film's era.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Un fim trop oublié 13 Jun. 2009
By Débilou - Published on Amazon.com
J'ai longtemps recherché un exemplaire de ce film rare, qui mériterait largement une réédition DVD (de préférence multilingue).
An Entertaining Melodrama 6 July 2015
By Manuel J. Santayana - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Pleased with my purchase.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Not a lot of grit 17 Aug. 2012
By Jay Holder - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Not a lot of grit in this movie that probably appeals most to women. I can`t understand why they chose this title which has very little to do with the story.
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