Identify a film
June 9, 2009 6:29 AM   Subscribe

Can you identify this movie from the 40s or 50s?

It's an American film from the 40s or 50s in black and white. Here's the plot, cut and pasted from an email from a friend.

"The film centres around a beautiful woman with dark hair who goes to stay with a blonde friend who has recently become engaged to a prominent man - a handsome young man - who is also blonde.

She's at the engagement party among numerous other guests when she spots her friend's fiance. This brunette is single, and she's and fiercely jealous and competitive: she wants her friends' fiance.

She flirts with him enough to knock his socks off - he's naive and is taken with her immediately. She realises this, but her dumb blonde friend has no idea. The next day, she tells her blonde friend she'll go out to ride the horses and her friend says whatever she says ("I'll see you later" or whatever). But the dark-haired woman knew that the fiance was out there riding his horse and she tries to catch up with him. Eventually she does, and they race along together and eventually end up in an embrace - the man can't resist her.

An affair ensues and the blonde man falls hopelessly in love with his fiancee's dark-haired, naughty friend. They tell the friend, who graciously accepts the news, and is happy for her friend, finding love with her ex-fiance. The brunette and the blonde man then get married.

At this point, you realise the dark-haired woman is naughty; she's been disloyal to her friend because she's selfish. But you assume she'll settle down to a nice life. But no, she doesn't.

So she and the blonde man move into this big place and the dark-haired woman soon finds that she's bored. This blonde dufus is a bore; she's unstimulated, unfulfilled. This isn't exciting anymore. So she retreats from him and starts hanging out downstairs, as I recall, preferring time alone. She learns about the murderous rampages of this lunatic who has come through the town, scaring all of the townspeople. Everyone is scared about this villain - but not the brunette! She is excited by this murderer. She is desperate to be doing what he is doing to liven up her life!

Somehow, some way, she tracks down the murder - she traps him - and she manages to convince him to let her go along with him on these killing excursions. She waits until her husband is asleep, sneaks out downstairs and goes off on her horse, covering her face, riding along to kill people with this madman.

She realises at this point that her marriage is crap and she doesn't love the man - so she lets him go, and her friend and he are so grateful because they are reunited once again.

And the Police are hot on her trail - she is soon to be found out - when she's at their wedding reception. And at the wedding reception, she sees this absolutely gorgeous brunette man in soft focus: the bad woman is in love. She speaks to him and he says he was at the engagement party - and it's then she realises that she could have met and married him if only she hadn't been so selfish! He is the one! She's in love with him! He tells her he's in love with her, too, but she realises that after all the killings she's done that there is no chance for this! The great irony, that if she'd just let nature take its course, she could have married the one that would have satisfied her. But now it was too late - having turned evil, she no longer deserved true love.

The only bit I might have wrong is that she might have met him at her own wedding reception - I can't remember."

Can you identify this film? Cheers
posted by dydecker to Media & Arts (3 answers total)
Best answer: The wicked lady?
posted by lucia__is__dada at 6:42 AM on June 9, 2009

Probably not The Wicked Lady, as a) it's set in the 17th century, which the friend didn't mention, and b) the key plot element of the person pursuing the "highwaymen" being the husband of the protagonist was left out. Also, the husband was played by the dark-haired Griffith Jones, and he wasn't a "dufus" at all. And the highwayman-lover isn't a lunatic at all--he's a very dashing James Mason.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:46 PM on June 9, 2009

Response by poster: the wicked lady is correct. that's a hole in a one. I see lucia_is_dada really knows old movies well! thank you
posted by dydecker at 2:55 AM on June 10, 2009

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