Fortune Is a Woman
|Fortune Is a Woman|
|Directed by||Sidney Gilliat|
|Produced by||Sidney Gilliat |
|Written by||Sidney Gilliat |
Val Valentine (adapted by)
|Based on||novel Fortune Is a Woman by Winston Graham|
|Starring||Jack Hawkins |
|Music by||William Alwyn|
|Edited by||Geoffrey Foot|
John Harvel Productions Ltd.
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
Fortune Is a Woman is a 1957 British film noir crime film directed by Sidney Gilliat and starring Jack Hawkins, Arlene Dahl, Dennis Price and Greta Gynt. Its plot concerns an attempted insurance fraud that goes badly wrong. In the United States, it was released as She Played With Fire. The film is based on Winston Graham's novel Fortune Is a Woman (1953).
London insurance investigator Oliver Branwell goes to Louis Manor to probe a recent fire. Tracey Moreton lives there with his wife Sarah and his mother. He introduces Branwell to them and to his neighbor and cousin, Clive, and shows him a valuable painting badly damaged in the blaze. Moreton isn't aware that Sarah and Branwell were once romantically involved.
The insurance company pays out on the damage and the painting. Months later, on another case, Branwell meets a woman, Vere Litchen, who has a painting that is identical to the one that was ruined. Branwell becomes suspicious that an insurance fraud took place. The next time he and Sarah speak, she asks questions about the best way to start a fire.
When Branwell sneaks into the manor to check whether the damaged painting is a copy, he finds Moreton's dead body and a fire that eventually engulfs the house. Sarah is beneficiary of her husband's insurance policy but Branwell remains suspicious of her involvement.
Vere's rich fiance, Croft, who gave her the painting, is shown a photo of Sarah and denies she was the woman who sold it to him. A relieved Branwell proposes to Sarah and they leave on a honeymoon. Now the police begin to consider him a suspect.
Blackmailed by a shadowy figure, Branwell and Sarah follow him and discover that Clive was the scheme's mastermind, and that the dead man's mother, Mrs. Moreton, had accidentally caused her son's death, believing him to be in the act of setting the second fire.
- Jack Hawkins – Oliver Branwell
- Arlene Dahl – Sarah Moreton/Branwell
- Dennis Price – Tracey Moreton
- Violet Farebrother – Mrs Moreton
- Ian Hunter – Clive Fisher
- Malcolm Keen – Old Abercrombie
- Geoffrey Keen – Young Abercrombie
- Patrick Holt – Fred Connor
- John Robinson – Berkeley Reckitt
- Michael Goodliffe – Detective Inspector Barnes
- Martin Lane – Detective Constable Watson
- Bernard Miles – Mr Jerome
- Christopher Lee – Charles Highbury
- Greta Gynt – Vere Litchen
- John Phillips – Willis Croft
- Patricia Marmont – Ambrosine
- Rosalind Knight – Minor role
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