The Woman in White (1948 film)

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The Woman in White
The Woman in White FilmPoster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Peter Godfrey
Produced by Henry Blanke
Screenplay by Stephen Morehouse Avery
Based on The Woman in White
by Wilkie Collins
Starring Alexis Smith
Eleanor Parker
Sydney Greenstreet
Gig Young
Music by Max Steiner
Cinematography Carl E. Guthrie
Edited by Clarence Kolster
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date
  • May 7, 1948 (1948-05-07) (premiere–New York)
  • May 15, 1948 (1948-05-15) (wide–United States)
Running time
109 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Woman in White is a 1948 drama film directed by Peter Godfrey and featuring Alexis Smith, Eleanor Parker, Sydney Greenstreet, and Gig Young. The screenplay is based on Wilkie Collins' novel The Woman in White.[1]


Walking late one night, Walter Hartright (Gig Young) sees a mysterious woman in white who promptly vanishes. A man in a carriage explains that a woman recently escaped from a nearby asylum, as the carriage drives by, Walter glimpse another man hidden inside, Count Alesandro Fosco (Sydney Greenstreet). Walter reaches his destination, Limmeridge House owned by the Fairlies. There he meets the occupants: Marian (Alexis Smith), cousin to Miss Fairly; an elderly nurse Mrs. Vesey (Emma Dunn), and an invalid uncle, Frederick (John Abbott), he also meets a guest who has just arrived, Count Fosco. He is immediately suspicious of Fosco.

- 'an extremely amusing and well characterized study comes from John Abbott (right) as the eccentric and mentally unbalanced Fairlie', Picturegoer noted [2]

The next morning he meets the wealthy Laura Fairlie (Eleanor Parker), he is stunned to see a strong resemblance to the woman in white, so much that he mistakes her for the other woman. When told the story about the mysterious woman he encountered, Marian sets out to investigate, she discovers an old letter written by Laura's mother about a distant cousin who looked much like Laura, named Anne Catherick, who came to visit one summer. Fosco steals this letter.

Laura is engaged to Sir Percival Glyde (John Emery), who comes to visit, that evening Walter meets the woman in white, Anne, again crying in the garden. She says she wants to warn Laura about something, but she suddenly disappears. Walter confronts Fosco and Glyde with what Laura has told him – that they are forcing Fredrick to allow Glyde to marry Laura for her fortune. Fosco and Glyde deny the charges and Marian doesn't believe him. Walter leaves Limmeridge House. Laura marries Glyde. A few months later, Marian comes back to Limmeridge House only to find all the old servants gone and new servants employed. Fosco and his wife, Countess Fosco (Agnes Moorehead) have moved in.

Fosco and Glyde find Anne who suddenly dies in front of Laura and Countess Fosco, who had been poisoning Anne, they fool everyone into thinking Laura had died. Walter attends the funeral but he realizes at once that it's Anne who is dead, he believes Laura is locked in the same asylum Anne had been. Fosco is attempting to drive Laura mad, but she escapes, she is found by Glyde, but Walter saves her, and in the scuffle, Glyde dies.

Fosco tells Marian the truth: the Countess is Fredrick's sister who had Anne out of wedlock. Fosco helped cover it up and he married the Countess soon after. A year later Laura's mother had Laura. When she finds out that Fosco is leaving, the Countess stabs Fosco, the police arrive just as Fosco dies and the Countess retrieves the emerald necklace Fosco tormented her with. Walter narrates the ending with his marriage to Marian, birth of a daughter, Laura living with them and her son and the Countess Fosco living in the renovated asylum with her emerald necklace.


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