Capital Celluloid 2023 — Day 102: Wed Apr 12

Lady in the Dark (Leisen, 1941): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 8.30pm

This 35mm presentation, which also screens on April 28th, is part of the Ginger Rogers season at BFI Southbank. Full details here.

Time Out review:
A gorgeously garish adaptation of the Moss Hart musical, with songs by Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin, in which a high-powered fashion magazine editor (Ginger Rogers) turns to psychoanalysis to resolve her inability to choose between three loves: a middle-aged backer (Warner Baxter), an attractive but independent-minded employee (Ray Milland), and a hunky movie star (Jon Hall). It doesn't bear too close examination, since Hollywood got cold feet about the lady's Electra complex, leaving only hints of her competition with mommy for daddy's love, and completing the bowdlerisation by removing the haunting key song 'My Ship'. What's left is a cardboard charade, but one given a dynamic charge by Leisen's witty visual styling. The three dream sequences, in particular, are superb, with the first two coolly designed, respectively in shades of blue and gold, the third - the circus sequence in which Jenny finds herself on trial for emotional delinquency - bursting into full colour.
Tom Milne

Here (and above) is an extract.

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