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Daughter of Darkness (1948 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Daughter of Darkness
"Daughter of Darkness" (1948).jpg
Directed byLance Comfort
Written byMax Catto
Based onplay "They Walk Alone" by Max Catto
Produced byVictor Hanbury
CinematographyStanley Pavey
Edited byLito Carruthers
Music byClifton Parker
Victor Hanbury Productions (in association with) (as Kenilworth)
Alliance Productions Ltd.
Distributed byParamount British Pictures (UK)
Release date
23 January 1948 (London) United Kingdom
27 March 1948 (USA)
Running time
91 min
CountryUnited Kingdom

Daughter of Darkness is a 1948 British film, with macabre overtones, directed by Lance Comfort and starring Anne Crawford, Maxwell Reed and – in the central role – Siobhán McKenna. Released in January 1948, it was based on a then ten-year-old play by Max Catto called They Walk Alone.[1] An expensive film for its day, it was shot at Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, London, (known at that time as Alliance Studios) and on location.[2][3] McKenna was offered a Hollywood contract following her memorable performance, but heeded the counsel of Laurence Olivier to remain in theatre work.[4]


In the small Irish town of Ballyconnen, Emmy Baudine (Siobhán McKenna) is a beautiful but disturbed young woman who works for the local priest. When the fair comes to town, she encounters Dan (Maxwell Reed), a handsome young boxer – and lays his face open with her fingernails when he attempts to seduce her. Urged by the village women's jealousy and forebodings, Father Corcoran (Liam Redmond), reluctantly sends Emmy to friends, farming family, in Yorkshire, and Emmy endeavours to suppress the strange feelings of fascination and revulsion that she experiences in the presence of the opposite sex. But the fair's seeping, relentless prowl for profit, has already left Ireland, and is trundling its poisoned way through the arteries of Britain, seemingly knowing where its next victims live. Their next meeting cannot be resisted; nor can the allure of Emmy Baudine: to wherever she moves.[2]


Critical reception

  • The Radio Times wrote, "an opportunity to see McKenna, one of the most compelling of Irish stage actresses, portraying a maniac with full-blooded commitment."[5]
  • TV Guide noted, "strong stuff for 1948."[6]
  • In his Guide to British Cinema, Geoff Mayer writes, "Daughter of Darkness, with a budget of two hundred thousand pounds and three weeks of location shooting in Cornwall, was not a financial success and represented a setback to Comfort's career, which saw him relegated to low-budget films in the 1950s and 1960s. Yet the film's mixture of gothic and horror establishes it as one of the most startling British films of the 1940s. " [7]


  1. ^ "Daughter of Darkness". BFI. Archived from the original on 14 January 2009.
  2. ^ a b "D". Irish Movie Madness.
  3. ^ "Twistedwing: CLASSIC HORROR: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS (1948)".
  4. ^ "Guide To T20 – Siobhàn McKenna Papers".
  5. ^ Robin Karney. "Daughter of Darkness". RadioTimes.
  6. ^ "Daughter Of Darkness". TV Guide.
  7. ^ Mayer, Geoff (2003). Guide to British Cinema. ISBN 9780313303074.

External links

This page was last edited on 27 July 2021, at 01:34
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