Corridor of Mirrors (film)
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Corridor of Mirrors is a 1948 British drama film directed by Terence Young and starring Eric Portman, Edana Romney and Barbara Mullen. It was based on a novel by Christopher Massie. It is notable as being both Terence Young's and Christopher Lee's first film. Visually one of the most engaging pieces of cinema made in Britain in 1948, Corridor of Mirrors extends the French post-war aesthetic typical of Jean Cocteau's 1950 film Orphée (Orpheus) and Jean Gremillion's noirish Pattes Blanches (White Paws, 1949), another neo-realist fairy story.
Terence Young's film resonates on the same wavelength as Kenneth Anger's experimental film Eaux d'artifice (1953) made in France shortly after Anger's meeting with Cocteau. Surprisingly, neither Anger or Young's films drew the type of critical reception they deserved and both still languish. Corridor of Mirrors is an odd experiment in the realm of fairy tale set in modern times and thus perfect fare for audiences of the period but it may have been too dark or too rigorous a fantasy to please. It slips easily between an elaborate, at times Baroque world of illusion and the greyish realities of artistic life just after war.
Eric Portman plays the aesthete-bluebeard seducer. Edana Romney plays a married woman who transitions from housewife to muse and finally goddess laden with important antique jewels and stunning dresses. Portman's acting is both insightful and highly charged; he is like a man who commits the perfect murder by other means...he never kills. As a collector and seeker of perfection he enhances and perfects. Romney is the model for his artfully constructed profound and sparkling mirror cosmos. Romney adapts herself to his ambitions and merges with his closet full of feminine ornament. As a seemingly asexual couple they achieve their mythic purpose and merge with time itself, instead of death. Young went on to direct an extremely diverse though less adventurous list of films among them three of the James Bond films.
- Eric Portman - Paul Mangin
- Edana Romney - Mifanwy Conway
- Barbara Mullen - Veronica
- Hugh Sinclair - Owen Rhys
- Bruce Belfrage - Sir David Conway
- Alan Wheatley - Edgar Orsen
- Joan Maude - Caroline Hart
- Leslie Weston - Mortimer
- Christopher Lee - Charles
- Hugh Latimer - Bing
- John Penrose - Brandy
- Lois Maxwell - Lois
- Mavis Villiers - Babs
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