Cry Wolf


It seems that Warner Brothers produced a number of gothic suspense film in the late 1940s. Cry Wolf (Peter Godfrey) is an example built around the star presence of Barbara Stanwyck and Errol Flynn. What seems distinctive about the Warners spin on the genre is the glee in portraying the sinister patriarch, where in other iterations of the gothic, the threat comes either from the charm of the husband or from his detachment. It's particularly interesting to see Flynn's star image retooled to this end.

The film is a good example of the Warners house style of the mid to late 1940s. We have the watery wipes for the credit titles...

the intense, low-angle practical lighting obscured by figures...

the low-level deep focus shots...


and the almost expressionistic effects lighting, like the "fireplace" gobo:
Cinematographer Carl Guthrie also provides some notable touches, like the tonal contrast between foreground and background in the ubiquitous mirror shot:

I have a fuller argument I'm developing about the fondness for mirrors in 1940s Hollywood. They appear quite frequently.

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