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Portrait of Clare (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Portrait of Clare
"Portrait of Clare" (1950).jpg
Directed byLance Comfort
Written byAdrian Alington
Leslie Landau
Based onPortrait of Clare
by Francis Brett Young
Produced byLeslie Landau
StarringMargaret Johnston
Richard Todd
Robin Bailey
Ronald Howard
CinematographyGünther Krampf
Edited byClifford Boote
Music byLeighton Lucas
Release date
13 November 1950
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office£100,643 (UK)[1]

Portrait of Clare is a 1950 black and white British drama film directed by Lance Comfort and starring Margaret Johnston, Richard Todd, Robin Bailey and Ronald Howard, and based on the 1927 novel of the same name written by Francis Brett Young .[2]


The film is begins in a large country mansion owned by the Hingstons and is set just after the Second world War. Lady Hingston starts to recall her youth to a young granddaughter Sylvia,

The story is then told in flashback, returning first to around 1900. The family lawyer Mr Wilburn declares his love of Clare to her grandmother. However she enters and announces her engagement to Ralph Hingston.

They marry but Ralph drowns as she watches him following a fall from a weir while trout fishing. Clare gives birth to a son soon after. They name him Steven.

The story jumps by around 5 years: steven is about to go to school. She goes with Wilburn to take him to a boarding school. Wilburn asks her to marry him on the drive home.

She meets his best friend Robert Hart (also a lawyer) on a train one day and clearly cares for him. He is best man at her marriage to Wilburn. Steven is only told when he returns from school for the Christmas holidays. He is quite upset. He begins keeping secrets and is openly defiant to Wilburn. He accuses Wilburn of marrying his mother for her money. He is locked in his room with no supper. Steven escapes out of the window and disappears into a dark stormy night. Wilburn shows no concern at all but Robert (who is visiting) goes to search. He has run to his grandmother's house.

In Wilburn's office Wilburn & Mayhew in West Bromwich his partner Ernest Mayhew commits suicide after embezzling funds. The police arrive but Wilburn is only interested in the good name of his firm. He initially hides the suicide note. Robert apologises to the police on his behalf. Wilburn realises that Clare only married him to give Steven a father and they should part from their loveless marriage.

We do not see Hart marry Clare. Steven refers to him as "Uncle Robert" in one of the final scenes.


Critical reception

TV Guide wrote, "the story suffers from a slack pace, though Johnston adds a lot of charm and sincerity to her role."[3]


  1. ^ Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000 p493
  2. ^ "BFI | Film & TV Database | PORTRAIT OF CLARE (1950)". Archived from the original on 19 October 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  3. ^[dead link]

External links

This page was last edited on 21 October 2022, at 18:42
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