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FRENCHMAN’S CREEK (director: Mitchell Leisen; screenwriters: from a Daphne du Maurier novel/Talbot Jennings; cinematographer: George Barnes; editor: Alma Macrorie; music: Victor Young; cast: Joan Fontaine (Dona St. Columb), Arturo de Cordova (Jean Benoit Aubrey//The Frenchman), Basil Rathbone (Lord Rockingham), Nigel Bruce (Lord Godolphin), Cecil Kellaway (William), Ralph Forbes (Harry St. Columb), Paul Oman (Luc), Edmond (Harald Ramond), Pierre Blanc (Billy Daniels), Lady Godolphin (Moyna MacGill), Henrietta (Patricia Barker), James (David James), Prue (Mary Field), Thomas Eustick (Arthur Gould Porter), Robert Penrose (Evan Thomas), John Nankervis (Leslie Denison), Philip Rashleigh (Denis Green); Runtime: 113; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: David Lewis; Paramount; 1944)
The colorful adventure features plenty of old-fashioned thrills.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Mitchell Leisen (“Red Garters”/”Bedevilled”/”The Mating Season”) adequately directs this film adapted from a spicy Daphne du Maurier novel.Talbot Jennings is the writer.

The romantic adventure is set in Restoration England, in 1668. A bored English aristocrat, Joan Fontaine, leaves her lascivious nobleman husband (Ralph Forbes) for her family home in Cornwall, and takes her children. There she encounters pirates at a nearby creek and falls in love with the romantic French pirate, called The Frenchman, (Arturo de Cordova). Impulsively she joins the pirates on a raid of neighbor’s (Nigel Bruce) home and then returns home. The nobles join forces to capture the pirate, but she frees him. In the climax, Fontaine must chose to be with either her family or live a life of adventure with her pirate lover.

The colorful adventure features plenty of old-fashioned thrills. It also acts as a feminist escapist fantasy film.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”