Saraband for Dead Lovers

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Saraband for Dead Lovers
Saraband for Dead Lovers FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Basil Dearden
Produced by Michael Balcon
Michael Relph (associate producer)
Written by Helen Simpson (novel)
John Dighton
Alexander Mackendrick
Starring Stewart Granger
Joan Greenwood
Music by Alan Rawsthorne
Cinematography Douglas Slocombe
Edited by Michael Truman
Distributed by Eagle-Lion Films
General Film Distributors
J. Arthur Rank Film
Release dates
4 October 1948
Running time
96 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office 1,315,516 admissions (France)[1]

Saraband for Dead Lovers (released in the United States. as Saraband) is a 1948 British historical drama film directed by Basil Dearden and starring Stewart Granger and Joan Greenwood. It is based on the novel by Helen Simpson. Set in seventeenth century Hanover, it depicts the doomed romance between Philip Christoph von Königsmarck and Sophia Dorothea of Celle, the wife of the Elector of Hanover.

Jim Morahan, William Kellner and Michael Relph were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Art Direction - Set Decoration, Color.[2]

Plot summary[edit]

Sophie Dorothea (Joan Greenwood) seeks solace from dashing Count Philip Konigsmark (Stewart Granger) when her husband Prince George Louis (Peter Bull), later to become King George I of Great Britain, wants nothing to do with her. The lovers are brought down by a jealous Countess Platen (Flora Robson).



Mai Zetterling was originally announced for the lead role.[3] She then asked to be excused "on account of a domestic incident" and Lili Palmer was going to play the role instead.[4] Eventually Joan Greenwood played it.


George MacDonald Fraser, writing in 1988, said of the film,"Saraband tells the story [of Sophia and Konigsmark] with complete fidelity, and only the smallest of romantic touches, and makes an enthralling film of it. Stewart Granger (Konigsmark) was born for this kind of costume picture, and Joan Greenwood is an appealing Sophia. ... Best of all, the film conveys in a few brief scenes, the stifling monotony of court life in a pretentious little German state; in this too, Saraband is good history."[5]

The acclaimed production design and art direction (nominated for an Academy Award) was complemented by the excellent cinematography by Douglas Slocombe.

Popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ Box office information for Stewart Granger films in France at Box Office Story
  2. ^ "NY Times: Saraband for Dead Lovers". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-20. 
  3. ^ LONDON HAILS A LADY OF 'GREAT EXPECTATIONS': Jean Simmons Acclaimed for Performance In Dickens Film--'Round the Studios By C.A. LEJEUNE.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 02 Feb 1947: X5.
  4. ^ LONDON CHEERS PAULETTE GODDARD: Star Proves to Be Own Best Press Agent--Of Studio Activities By C.A. LEJEUNE. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 30 Mar 1947: X5.
  5. ^ Fraser, George MacDonald (1988). The Hollywood History of the World. London: Michael Joseph Limited. p. 118. ISBN 0-7181-2997-0. 

External links[edit]