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Moonfleet
     

Moonfleet

Director: Fritz Lang

Cast: Stewart Granger, George Sanders, Joan Greenwood

 
In the 1750s, young orphan John Mohune (Jon Whiteley) arrives at the seaside Dorset village of Moonfleet seeking Jeremy Fox (Stewart Granger), a one-time "friend" of his late mother, to whom she has turned over care of the boy. Fox exudes an aura of class and bravado, along with an obvious love of life and

Overview

In the 1750s, young orphan John Mohune (Jon Whiteley) arrives at the seaside Dorset village of Moonfleet seeking Jeremy Fox (Stewart Granger), a one-time "friend" of his late mother, to whom she has turned over care of the boy. Fox exudes an aura of class and bravado, along with an obvious love of life and the finer things it can offer, all of which combine to make him a beguiling presence to one and all, including the larcenous, decadent local nobility (George Sanders) and a band of cut-throats led by Elzevir Block (Sean McClory), to whom he has more than a passing acquaintance. In his innocence, John -- oblivious to the fact that Jeremy runs a murderous smuggling ring -- instantly accepts this man as a loyal friend (and, indeed, a man to be loved and trusted like a parent, precisely because his mother has consigned him to his care). And Jeremy, initially disdainful of the boy, finds himself moved by the latter's willingness to love him and see his better nature, which does come out (with some resistance) under his coaxing, and reluctantly becomes his guardian. But there are too many nefarious goings on in and around Moonfleet, between smugglers and the authorities pursuing them, and the Mohune family's dark history, to keep John safe from danger. His life is placed at risk when he stumbles on the secret of old "Redbeard," the Mohune patriarch who betrayed law and morality, selling his soul for a priceless diamond, which has long been believed lost. Before long, young John knows too much about the smugglers for their comfort, despite Jeremy's protection -- and when he accidentally discovers a clue to the location of Redbeard's diamond, even Jeremy can't resist the chance for that prize, even if he has to cheat the boy out of his birthright.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Moonfleet was directed by the estimable Fritz Lang, and almost any Lang film is worth watching. Moonfleet is no exception, although it definitely ranks as one of the director's middling works, more than satisfactory but less than stellar. There are several reasons that it falls a little short, one of them being that it was Lang's first foray into the land of Cinemascope, a process about which he famously said was fit only "for snakes and funerals." Lang clearly is not enamored of the widescreen, although he deserves credit for finding effective ways to fill the vastness of the screen. In addition, budgetary restrictions caused the film to be shot in Eastmancolor rather than Technicolor, and the results are less vivid and somewhat muddier than could be desired. Finally, there are problems with the screenplay, which is neither as sharp nor as plausible as it should be and which can't escape comparisons to Treasure Island. But even with these hurdles, Lang creates a film that is fairly lively and mostly enjoyable, a ripping schoolboy yarn that adults can enjoy as well. He also gets a very impressive performance out of Stewart Granger, who did not always allow his swash to buckle as realistically as it does here. Jon Whiteley is a perfect delight, and George Sanders and Joan Greenwood are deliciously decadent. There's also an unforgettable Liliane Montevecchi, whose gypsy dance is sensational. Moonfleet may fall a little short, but it's still good rainy-day fun.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/12/2010
UPC:
0883316126059
Original Release:
1955
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:29:00
Sales rank:
40,434

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Stewart Jeremy Fox
George Sanders Lord Ashwood
Joan Greenwood Lady Ashwood
Viveca Lindfors Mrs. Anna Minton
Jon Whiteley John Mohune
Liliane Montevecchi Gypsy Dancer
Melville Cooper Felix Ratsey
Sean McClory Elzevir Block
Alan Napier Parson Glennie
John Hoyt Magistrate Maskew
Donna Corcoran Grace
Jack Elam Damen
Dan Seymour Hull
Ian Wolfe Tewkesbury
Lester Matthews Maj. Hennishaw
Skelton Knaggs Jacobs
Richard Hale Starkill
John Alderson Greening
Ashley Cowan Tomson
Frank Ferguson Coachman
Booth Colman Capt. Stanhope
Lillian Kemble-Cooper Mary Hicks
Guy Kingsford Capt. Hawkins
Peggy Maley Tenant
John O'Malley Lt. Upjohn
Wilson Wood Soldier
Ben Wright Officer

Technical Credits
Fritz Lang Director
Albert Akst Editor
Margaret Fitts Screenwriter
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Vincente Gómez Score Composer
John Houseman Producer
Jud Kinberg Associate Producer
Jan Lustig Screenwriter
Richard A. Pefferle Set Decoration/Design
Hans Peters Art Director
Robert Planck Cinematographer
Walter Plunkett Costumes/Costume Designer
Miklós Rózsa Score Composer
Sid Sidman Asst. Director
William J. Tuttle Makeup
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design

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