Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Review - Footsteps in the Fog (1955 - Dir. Arthur Lubin)

I was always going to like this film. It's got the the word fog in the title and stars Stewart Granger. Who could resist giving those little grey bits of hair at the side of his head a stroke? I know I couldn't. Well, maybe not now, seeing as though he's dead, but at the time this film was made...

Strangely I can't give much of a plot synopsis apart from it's about a recently widowed fellow called Stephen Lowry (Granger) and his maid Lily Watkins (Jean Simmons). And that's about it. Any more would give away far too many spoilers. 

Footsteps in the Fog has more story content in the first five minutes than the whole of Pacific Rim. There are so many aspects to it: thriller, drama, romance, violence and a little bit of twisted sexuality (sadly no pirates). I was never quite sure where it was all going and what would happen next. It became the film I was expecting at one point, but it happens midway through rather than at the end and it only lasts about five minutes. 

So it's got a twisty-turny story. What else has it got? Stewart Granger not playing a swashbuckling hero or charging about shooting elephants in a Charlton Heston/Prince Phil type fashion. He hasn't got the range of James Stewart but it's good to see him playing something different. It's also in colour so black-and-white-ists can enjoy something that has the atmosphere and pace of a black and white film, but without all of that pesky greyscaliness.

Yet again in a film from this era our aged hero ends up romantically entangled with a lady half his age. It's those grey bits that does it. So I've got a scheme. When this miracle hair growth cream comes out in a year or so, I'm going to grow some really thick luxuriant hair. Stage two - dye it black. Next, wrap masking tape around the top portion of my hair. And finally, recreate that Granger greyness using some grey car spray paint. It can't fail.

Anyway, back to business. Footsteps in the Fog is a minor gem. It lacks an emotional punch but for sheer story content it's a winner.

If you like this you could also try:
Gaslight, The Spiral Staircase, Rebecca.

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