Under Capricorn (1949): Hitchcock’s Historical Melodrama, Starring Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten

Hitchcock directed Under Capricorn, a British historical drama about a couple in Australia who started out as lady and stable boy in Ireland, and who are now bound together by a horrible secret.

Grade: C (*1/2* out of *****)

The film is based on John Colton and Margaret Linden’s play, which in turn is based on the novel Under Capricorn (1937) by Helen Simpson. The screenplay was written by James Bridie from an adaptation by Hume Cronyn.

This was Hitchcock’s second film in Technicolor, and like his preceding color film Rope (1948), it features 9- and 10-minute long takes.

The tale is set in colonial Sydney, New South Wales, Australia in the early 19th century. Under Capricorn is one of several Hitchcock films that are not typical thrillers: instead it is a mystery involving a love triangle. Although the film is not a murder mystery, it does feature a previous killing, a “wrong man” scenario, a sinister housekeeper, class conflict, emotional tension, both on the surface and underneath.

The title Under Capricorn refers to the Tropic of Capricorn, which bisects Australia. Capricornus is a constellation, Capricorn is an astrological sign dominated by the goat, a symbol of sexual desire.

In 1831, Sydney is a frontier town populated by rough ex-convicts of the British Isles. New Governor Sir Richard (Cecil Parker) arrives with his charming but indolent second cousin, the Honorable Charles Adare (Michael Wilding).

Charles, who is hoping to make his fortune, is befriended by gruff Samson Flusky (Joseph Cotten), a prosperous businessman who was a transported convict, apparently a murderer. After exhausting the legal limits of land owning, he wants Charles to buy land and then sell it to him for profit so that he can accumulate more territory.

Though the Governor orders him not to go, Charles attends a dinner at Sam’s house. He discovers that he already knows Sam’s wife, Lady Henrietta (Ingrid Bergman), an aristocrat who was good friend of Charles’s sister when they were children in Ireland. Lady Henrietta, an alcoholic, is now socially shunned.

Sam invites Charles to stay at his house, hoping to cheer up his wife, who is on the verge of madness. The housekeeper, Milly (superbly played by Margaret Leighton), has completely taken over the the household. Moreover, she secretly feeds Lady Henrietta alcohol, scheming to destroy her and then win Sam’s affections.

Gradually, Charles restores Henrietta’s self-confidence, and they become closer, leading to a passionate kiss. Henrietta explains that she and Sam are bound together profoundly. When she was young, Sam was a handsome stable boy. Driven by desire, they ran away and married at Gretna Green.

Henrietta’s brother, furious that she had paired up with a lowly servant,  confronted the couple and shoots at them but missed; in retaliation, Henrietta shoots her brother fatally.

After Sam made false confession in order to save her, he was sent to the penal colony in Australia. Henrietta followed him and waited seven years in poverty for his release.

After listening to Milly’s greatly exaggerated stories of what Charles did in Lady Henrietta’s bedroom, Sam orders Charles to leave.

Taking Sam’s favorite mare in the dark, Charles has a fall and the horse breaks a leg. Sam has to shoot her dead and, in a subsequent struggle over the gun, seriously wounds Charles. Sam will now be prosecuted again for attempted murder.

At the hospital, Henrietta confesses to the Governor that Sam was wrongly accused of crime, and that she was the one who shot killed her brother. By law, she should be deported back to Ireland to stand trial.

Milly, still plying Henrietta with drink, is using a shrunken head to fake hallucinations. She then attempts to kill Henrietta with overdose of sedatives. However, caught in the act, she is ordered out in disgrace.

The Governor, Sir Richard, arrests Sam, who is charged with the attempted murder of Charles. Sir Richard ignores Henrietta’s claim that Sam is innocent of both crimes. However, Charles decides to bend the truth, stating that there was no confrontation, and no struggle over the gun; it was an accident.

In the end, Sam and Henrietta are seen smiling, bidding farewell to Charles, who’s going back to Ireland.

The film was co-produced by Hitchcock and Sidney Bernstein for their short-lived production company, Transatlantic Pictures, and released through Warner.

It was Hitchcock’s second film in Technicolor, using 10-minute takes, similar in structure to his previous film, Rope (1948).

The use of long takes in Under Capricorn promotes elements of film’s meaning, such as inaccessible space in the gothic house, the form in which characters inhabit their past, the gaze that cannot, or must meet another’s.

Ingrid Bergman as Lady Henrietta Flusky, old friend of Charles’ sister
Joseph Cotten as Samson “Sam” Flusky, businessman and Henrietta’s husband
Michael Wilding as Hon. Charles Adare, second cousin of the governor
Margaret Leighton as Milly, Flusky’s scheming housekeeper
Cecil Parker as the new Governor of New South Wales, Sir Richard
Denis O’Dea as Mr. Corrigan, Attorney General
Jack Watling as Winter, Flusky’s paroled butler
Harcourt Williams as the Coachman
John Ruddock as Mr. Cedric Potter, bank manager
Bill Shine as Mr. Banks
Victor Lucas as the Rev. Smiley
Ronald Adam as Mr. Riggs
Francis de Wolff as Major Wilkins
G. H. Mulcaster as Dr. Macallister
Olive Sloane as Sal
Maureen Delany as Flo
Julia Lang as Susan
Betty McDermott as Martha
Martin Benson as Man Carrying Shrunken Head (uncredited)
Lloyd Pearson as Land Agent (uncredited)



Director – Alfred Hitchcock
Writing – James Bridie (screenplay), Hume Cronyn (adaptation)
Cinematography – Jack Cardiff
Art direction: Thomas N. Morahan (production design); Philip Stockford (set dresser)
Technicolor color director – Natalie Kalmus
Costume design – Roger K. Furse
Assistant director – C. Foster Kemp
Production management: Fred Ahern; John Palmer (unit manager)
Editor: A. S. Bates
Camera Operators: Paul Beeson, Ian Craig, David MacNeilly, Jack Haste
Sound: Peter Handford
Continuity: Peggy Singer
Makeup artist: Charles Parker
Music: Richard Addinsell (musical score), Louis Levy (musical director)

Hitchcock cameo:

A signature which occurs in three-quarters of Hitchcock’s films,

In this film, he can be seen in the town square during a parade, wearing a blue coat and brown hat at the beginning of the film. He is also one of three men on the steps of the Government House 10 minutes later.

Hitchcock told Truffaut that Under Capricorn was such a failure that Bankers Trust Company, which financed, repossessed the film. As a result, it was unavailable to the public until the first US network TV screening in 1968.

Playwright James Bridie, who wrote the screenplay, is famous for his Biblical plays, such as Jonah and the Whale.

Cecil Parker’s character Sir Richard may be a representation of General Sir Richard Bourke, Governor of New South Wales from 1831 to 1837.

The film earned $1.21 million domestically and $1.46 million in foreign territories.

The audience expected Under Capricorn to be a thriller, which it was not. The plot was a domestic love triangle with few thriller elements. However, the public reception might have been tarnished by the revelation in 1949 of Ingrid Bergman’s adulterous relationship with the married Italian director Roberto Rossellini.

John McCarten of the New Yorker wrote that “this picture simultaneously succeeds in insulting the Australians, the Irish, and the average intelligence.”

Richard L. Coe of The Washington Post wrote: “The triangle performances are splendid, but the lines and situations the three principals are called upon to face are trite indeed … Jame’s Bridie’s script, from a Helen Simpson novel adapted by Hume Cronyn, has little to be proud of, is indeed unintentionally hilarious at times.”

The Monthly Film Bulletin was also negative: “The story is not enlivened by any qualities in the dialogue, which is crude and frequently stilted, or in the direction, which surely represents the nadir of Hitchcock’s present period. It is extraordinary that this director, responsible for some of the most brilliant British films of the thirties—lively, fast, and full of incident—should return to this country from Hollywood for the sake of a ponderous novelette, which even more than Rope shows a preoccupation with complicated camera movements of no dramatic value whatsoever.”


xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonxosokeonhacaiketquabongdalichthidau7m.newskqbdtysokeobongdabongdalufutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbetbsport.fitonbet88.oooi9bet.bizhi88.ooookvip.atf8bet.atfb88.cashvn88.cashshbet.atbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩa开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育亚新体育亚新体育亚新体育爱游戏爱游戏爱游戏华体会华体会华体会IM体育IM体育沙巴体育沙巴体育PM体育PM体育AG尊龙AG尊龙AG尊龙AG百家乐AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人<AG真人<皇冠体育皇冠体育PG电子PG电子万博体育万博体育KOK体育KOK体育欧宝体育江南体育江南体育江南体育半岛体育半岛体育半岛体育凯发娱乐凯发娱乐杏彩体育杏彩体育杏彩体育FB体育PM真人PM真人<米乐娱乐米乐娱乐天博体育天博体育开元棋牌开元棋牌j9九游会j9九游会开云体育AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88