Under Capricorn (1949) With Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotton, at Music Hall -- Directed by Hitchcock
A dark tale of love and frustration, of sympathy and revenge, set down in a chaotic mansion in nineteenth-century New South Wales is the one to which Alfred Hitchcock has chosen to put his hand in his new Transatlantic production, "Under Capricorn." And the role of the wronged and wretched lady in this melodramatic tale is the one that Ingrid Bergman has purposely chosen to play.
As the beautiful Lady Henrietta who lives in the great Australian house with her beetle-browed exconvict husband and quietly drowns herself in drink, Miss Bergman is called upon to put forth little more than some soggy displays of sozzled and sentimental maundering or of wide-eyed and dry-throated dread. The stuff for a solid characterization is simply not put her way. And Mr. Hitchcock, the director, has little more with which to stoke up steam than an unfolding tale of an ancient murder and an easily perceived villainess.
To be sure, with these materials, both artists do as well as one could expect, with the further restricted assistance of a capable and richly costumed cast. Joseph Cotten is hugely gruff and sullen as the lady's low-born spouse who harbors with her the gnawing secret of their long-ago love and tragic crime. Michael Wilding is dashing and commanding as the elegant Irish milord who drops in to cheer up the lady and is darkly suspected therefor. And Margaret Leighton gives a pretty demonstration of female malevolence as the jealous maid of the lady who carries malicious tales. Likewise Cecil Parker is juicy as the lofty governor and several other actors are colorful in prim and slatternly roles.
UNDER CAPRICORN, screen play by James Bridie, adapted by Hume Cronyn; based on the novel by Helen Simpson; directed by Alfred Hitchcock; a Transatlantic Pictures Production released by Warner Brothers. At the Radio City Music Hall.
Lady Henrietta Flusky . . . . . Ingrid Bergman
Sam Flusky . . . . . Joseph Cotten
Hon. Charles Adare . . . . . Michael Wilding
Milly . . . . . Margaret Leighton
The Governor . . . . . Cecil Parker
Mr. Corrigan . . . . . Dennis O'Dea
Winter . . . . . Jack Watling
The Coachman . . . . . Harcourt Williams
Mr. Potter . . . . . John Ruddock
Mr. Banks . . . . . Bill Shine
The Rev Smiley . . . . . Victor Lucas
Mr. Riggs . . . . . Ronald Adam
Major Wilkins . . . . . Franciss de Wolff
Dr. McCallister . . . . . G. H. Mulcaster
Sal . . . . . Olive Sloane
Flo . . . . . Maureen Delaney
Susan . . . . . Julia Lang