The Man in Grey

Director: Leslie Arliss
Year Released: 1943
Rating: 3.0

V    At an auction, a pilot (Stewart Granger) and a female sailor (Phyllis Calvert) meet and it turns out the two are connected by their surnames - the movie then flashes back to the story of Clarissa (Calvert again), her 'friendship' with scheming Hesther (Margaret Lockwood), her unhappy marriage to Heathcliff-esque Lord Rohan (James Mason) and her love affair with actor/librarian/carnival worker Rokeby (Granger again).  Despite the slightly stiff soap opera feel to it - and a bit of a wonky setup - this is actually a solid melodrama (from Gainsborough) with lightly mystical elements to it (the fortune teller spells out the plot early on) and, later, a sense of ruthlessness: Hesther is a shrewd manipulator and Rohan's sartorial palette reflects his being trapped in a moral middle ground (he gives himself permission to cheat on his wife but becomes enraged when she does the same).  Midway through, Hesther lays out a truth bomb (although she's mostly talking about herself): "All women are very much the same, you know.  We should none of us be put on pedestals."