Madonna of the Seven Moons
|Madonna of the Seven Moons|
UK promotional poster
|Directed by||Arthur Crabtree|
|Produced by||R.J. Minney|
|Screenplay by||Roland Pertwee|
|Based on||The Madonna of Seven Moons|
by Margery Lawrence
|Music by||Hans May|
|Cinematography||Jack E. Cox|
|Edited by||Lito Carruthers|
|Distributed by||Eagle-Lion Distributors|
|22 January 1945|
|Box office||over £1 million|
675,949 admissions (France)
Madonna of the Seven Moons is a 1945 British drama film directed by Arthur Crabtree for Gainsborough Pictures and starring Phyllis Calvert, Stewart Granger and Patricia Roc. The film was produced by Rubeigh James Minney, with cinematography from Jack Cox and screenplay by Roland Pertwee. It was one of the Gainsborough melodramas.
A buried trauma from the past holds the key to the disappearance of a respectable married woman. Maddalena has a dual personality which leads her to forsake her husband and daughter, to flee to the house of the Seven Moons in Florence as the mistress of a jewel thief.
- Phyllis Calvert as Maddalena Labardi
- Stewart Granger as Nino Barucci
- Patricia Roc as Angela Labardi
- Peter Glenville as Sandro Barucci
- John Stuart as Giuseppe Labardi
- Nancy Price as Mama Barucci
- Reginald Tate as Doctor Charles Ackroyd
- Jean Kent as Vittoria
- Peter Murray-Hill as Jimmy Logan
- Dulcie Gray as Nesta Logan
- Alan Haines as Evelyn
- Hilda Bayley as Mrs. Fiske
- Evelyn Darvell as Millie Fiske
- Amy Veness as Tessa
- Robert Speaight as Priest
- Eliot Makeham as Bossi
- Danny Green as Scorpi
- Helen Haye as Mother Superior
Film rights were bought by Gaumont British in 1938 who wanted to turn it into a vehicle for Renée Saint-Cyr, as part of an ambitious slate for Gainsborough in 1939. However the advent of World War II disrupted these and plans to film Madonna were put on the backburner.
The project was re-activated in 1944 following the box office success of The Man in Grey and Fanny by Gaslight. It was the first film directed by Arthur Crabtree. He had spent many years previously working for Gainsborough as a cinematographer. Phyllis Calvert later recalled:
Arthur was a very good cinematographer, but there weren't enough directors, and so people who were scriptwriters or were behind the camera were suddenly made directors. It wasn't that Crabtree was an unsatisfactory director, just that we found ourselves very satisfactory – we did it ourselves. But the fact that he had been a lighting cameraman was wonderful for us, because he knew exactly how to photograph us.
Academic Sue Harper later wrote an analysis of the film, where she attributed R.J. Minney to being the main creative force behind it.
The movie was very popular at the British box office, being one of the most seen films of its year. In 1946 readers of the Daily Mail voted the film their third most popular British movie from 1939 to 1945.
It was the only British film among the ten most popular films of 1946 in Australia.
Stewart Granger later called the film "terrible".
British films had not traditionally performed well in the US but screenings to US soldiers in Britain led J Arthur Rank to feel that Madonna of the Seven Moons would do well there.
The movie was the first of a series of Rank films distributed in the US by Universal.
- Realism and Tinsel: Cinema and Society in Britain 1939-48 By Robert Murphy p 55
- "No title". Western Mail. 61 (3, 207). Western Australia. 14 February 1946. p. 26. Retrieved 9 September 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- Box office information for Stewart Granger films in France at Box Office Story
- "Madonna of the Seven Moons (1945)". explore.bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
- "NOVELS REVIEWED". The Chronicle. Adelaide. 10 December 1931. p. 84. Retrieved 13 June 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
- "SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: Miriam Hopkins Will Star in 'Trailer Romance'--James Ellinson Also in Cast PRISON BREAK' AT RIALTO Lloyd Confirms Reports That He Plans to Sponsor Films Starring W. C. Fields Of Local Origin Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.". New York Times. 12 July 1938. p. 15.
- "DAD & DAVE Come to Town". The Mercury. Hobart, Tasmania. 3 September 1938. p. 5. Retrieved 13 June 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
- "BRITISH FILMS OF 1939". Western Mail. 59 (2, 742). Western Australia. 15 September 1938. p. 30. Retrieved 9 September 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- C. A. LEJEUNE (16 July 1944). "LONDON'S MOVIE NEWS: Newsreels Prove Strongest Draw -- 'The Way Ahead' an Apt War Film". New York Times. p. X3.
- Brian MacFarlane, An Autobiography of British Cinema, Methuen 1997 p 110
- Madonna of the Seven Moons Harper, SueAuthor InformationView Profile. History Today; London45.8 (Aug 1995): 47.
- "Britons Prefer Their Own Films To US Productions". The Argus (31, 030). Melbourne. 12 February 1946. p. 5. Retrieved 9 September 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- "GAUMONT-BRITISH PICTURE: INCREASED NET PROFIT". The Observer. London (UK). 4 November 1945. p. 3.
- Robert Murphy, Realism and Tinsel: Cinema and Society in Britain 1939-48, p 207
- "BRITISH POLL". The West Australian. Perth. 26 April 1946. p. 13. Retrieved 4 March 2013 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Australia's Favorite Stars And Movies of the Year". The Mail. 35 (1, 806). Adelaide. 4 January 1947. p. 9 (Sunday Magazine). Retrieved 9 September 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- Brian MacFarlane, An Autobiography of British Cinema, Methuen 1997 p 230
- "Several Major British Films Ready for U.S. Audiences, Says Rank: Producer Says His Organization Has Tested Its Pictures on American Soldiers in England". Wall Street Journal. New York. 5 June 1945. p. 3.
- "IRENE DUNNE SET TO PORTRAY ANNA: Reconsiders Declining of Role in 'King of Slam' Picture-- Two Films Here Today Of Local Origin Universal, Rank Extend Deal Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.". New York Times. 1 November 1945. p. 21.