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Jean Kent  

 

MADONNA OF THE SEVEN MOONS

                       
 

Gainsborough Productions, 1945.  Directed by Arthur Crabtree.  Camera:  Jack Cox.  With Phyllis Calvert, Stewart Granger, Patricia Roc, Peter Glenville, Reginald Tate, Peter Murray Hill, Dulcie Gray, Alan Haines, Hilda Bailey, Nancy Price, Amy Veness, Danny Green, Eliot Makeham, Evelyn Darvell, Helen Haye, Jean Kent, John Stuart.

       
           

A classic in gothic-romantic excess, Madonna of Seven Moons was one of the most successful British films of its genre.  Though she doesn't know it at first, young convent-bred Rosalinda (Phyllis Calvert) has been born under a curse:  before her life comes to a close, she will be wife, mother, and mistress all in one.  As a child, Rosalinda is raped by a gypsy, an experience that renders her a schizophrenic.

Years later, she is the seemingly contented wife of prosperous Italian businessman Giuseppe (John Stuart) and the mother of attractive teenager Angela (Patricia Roc).  From time to time, however, Rosalinda disappears from her home and retreats to the slums of Florence, where she assumes the identity of lustful gypsy girl Maddalena, the mistress of criminal leader Nino (Stewart Granger).  Then she returns to her husband and daughter, completely unaware of her "other" self or even that she's been absent.

Understandably curious about her mother's long absences, Angela follows Rosalinda during one of her sojourns into the Florentine underworld.  Far from home and hearth, poor Angela is targeted for seduction by Sandro (Peter Glenville), the very gypsy who'd assaulted the younger Rosalinda!  And just when it seems that things can't get any more unbelievable...well, this one is definitely better seen than described.  Originally released at 100 minutes, Madonna of Seven Moons was expertly cut to 88 minutes for U.S. consumption.

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