Fanny by Gaslight (film)
Fanny by Gaslight (US title – Man of Evil) is a 1944 British drama film, produced by Gainsborough Pictures, set in the 1870s and adapted from a 1940 novel by Michael Sadleir (also adapted as a 1981 mini-series).
|Fanny by Gaslight|
|Directed by||Anthony Asquith|
|Produced by||Edward Black|
|Written by||Doreen Montgomery|
|Based on||novel by Michael Sadleir|
|Music by||Cedric Mallabey|
|Edited by||R. E. Dearing|
|May 1944 (UK)|
|Box office||$17,285 (US rentals)|
786,581 admissions (France)
It was the second of its famous period-set "Gainsborough melodramas", following The Man in Grey (1943). Its US release was delayed for its breaking the Hays Purity Code, and 17 minutes were removed for this release.
Stewart Granger later said he "didn't like" the film because of its "drippy characters" but thought "Asquith was much the best of those directors I worked with at Gainsborough."
Fanny (Phyllis Calvert) finishes at boarding school in 1880 and returns to London, where she witnesses Lord Manderstoke (James Mason) fight and kill her supposed father. She soon learns that her family has run a brothel next door to her home and (on her mother's death) that he was not her real father. She goes to meet her real father – a respected politician – and falls in love with Harry Somerford (Stewart Granger), his advisor. Manderstoke continues to thwart her happiness.
- Phyllis Calvert as Fanny Hopwood/Fanny Hooper
- James Mason as Lord Manderstoke
- Wilfrid Lawson as Chunks
- Stewart Granger as Harry Somerford
- Jean Kent as Lucy Beckett
- Margaretta Scott as Alicia Seymore
- Nora Swinburne as Mrs. Hopwood
- Cathleen Nesbitt as Kate Somerford
- Helen Haye as Mrs. Somerford
- John Laurie as William Hopwood
- Stuart Lindsell as Clive Seymore
- Amy Veness as Mrs. Heaviside
- Ann Wilton as Carver
- Guy Le Feuvre as Doctor Lowenthal
- Esma Cannon as Gossiping Maid (uncredited)
- Shelagh Fraser as Maid (uncredited)
- Ann Stephens as Fanny as a child
- Gloria Sydney as Lucy as a child
- John Turnbull as Magistrate
- Cyril Smith as Publican
- Helen Goss as Polly
- Johnnie Schofield as Joe
- Vi Kaley as Joe's wife
- Peter Jones as new client at The Shades
Phyllis Calvert and Anthony Asquith were attached to the project by October 1942.
The film's release in the US was delayed over three years due to American censor concerns over scenes set in a brothel.
Jean Kent played a Margaret Lockwood style role.
According to Kinematograph Weekly the 'biggest winners' at the box office in 1944 Britain were For Whom the Bell Tolls, This Happy Breed, Song of Bernadette, Going My Way, This Is the Army, Jane Eyre, The Story of Dr Wassell, Cover Girl, White Cliffs of Dover, Sweet Rosie O'Grady and Fanny By Gaslight. The biggest British hits of the year were, in order, Breed, Fanny By Gaslight, The Way Ahead and Love Story. However, it performed very badly at the box office in the US.
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- Box office information for Stewart Granger films in France at Box Office Story
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