The Blind Goddess 1948

Sir Patrick Hastings was one of our most renowned and notable barristers. He also found time to write plays, two of which have been adapted for film.

During this period quite a few stage plays made it onto the silver screen – I can think of this one ‘The Winslow Boy’ and a favourite of mine ‘The Holly and the Ivy’ – Hugh Williams was in that too

This film is based upon Patrick Hasting’s play of the same name in which a young man accuses his former employer of embezzling funds from a charitable organisation. During the trial the defendant seems to be creating a good impression until the plaintiff’s lawyer produces a letter……….

The intriguing beginning of this film takes place in Prague but soon switches to London where we are introduced to Michael Denison and Claire Bloom. It is not too long before the appearance of Hugh Williams and Anne Crawford as Lord and Lady Brasted and Eric Portman as Sir John Dearing KC.

The Courtroom scenes were quite dramatic and effective and well constructed.

The Plot :-

In Prague, Count Mikla is found dead, a presumed suicide, though we know better, having seen his valet shoot him. Back in England, Mikla’s friend Derek, who works for Lord Brasted, is suspicious, as Mikla had been feeding Derek information that Brasted, head of a commission raising money to aid displaced people after the war, was embezzling much of that money.

Derek tells Brasted that he’s going to the Prime Minister with his charges, which he does. Brasted then tells his wife Helen (who, as it happens is a former lover of Derek’s) that Derek tried to blackmail him, using a conversation that, if overheard, could be interpreted that way.

Brasted sues Derek for libel with the formidable Sir John Dearing as his barrister. Dearing, taking the word of Brasted, works his legal wonders in the courtroom, basing much of his case on a letter written by Derek—but as we know, forged by Brasted.

Eventually, another letter comes into play, one Derek wrote to his girlfriend Mary ( Sir John’s daughter) but which is passed off an illicit love letter to Brasted’s wife. How far will Brasted go to punish Derek?

When evidence finally appears to suggest that Brasted is in fact guilty, will Sir John do the honourable thing in court?

Some sources call this a thriller, but it’s actually just a slow-burning courtroom drama

The acting is fine all around: Eric Portman is excellent as usual, also Hugh Williams (Brasted), Michael Denison (Derek) and Anne Crawford.

Harold French the Director on this film, began and ended his career in the Theatre. In between he proved to be a capable film director.

The film marks Claire Bloom’s film debut. The performance that stands out in the film is that of Anne Crawford as Lady Brasted.

Claire Bloom in her first film role

A Stage Play – this programme from 1947

Honor Blackman was in the production – it must have been one of her first.

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