Flick Friday: Frenchman’s Creek 1944

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Frenchmans Creek Image One
Image Credit: imdb.com

Seventy-five years ago, today, the adventure film Frenchman’s Creek was released (or New York opening). Directed by Mitchell Leisen, it was based on the 1941 novel of the same name by Daphne Du Maurier. Starring Joan Fontaine (sister of Olivia de Havilland), Arturo de Córdova, Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce and Cecil Kellaway, it was produced by Buddy DeSylva (co-founder of Capitol Records) with Talbot Jennings (The Sons of Katie Elder) crafting the screenplay. The musical score included Claude DeBussy‘s Clair de Lune.

From IMDB:

An English lady bored with London society brings her [two] children to their country home. Her servant William is also working for a French pirate who holds up with his ship and crew off the coast. They soon meet and she embarks on an adventure with the pirates!

Frenchmans Creek Image Two
Photo Credit: imdb.com

From Wikipedia:

As a beautiful, learned lady of means, Dona St. Columb had it all…and a loveless marriage. After years of being royally subjected to mistreatment, she retreats with her most prized possessions, her two children, to a secluded manor overlooking Britain’s Atlantic shoreline. [She] is enthralled with the tall tales of a scoundrel of a pirate, who has been plundering nearby coastal villages. Full of adventure and fueled by years of neglect, she sets forth to seek him out and, it is not long before she finds him…

TCM’s Full Synopsis

“A Lady of Fire and Ice…A Rogue of Steel and Gallantry”

Trivia Bits:
♦ The only film featuring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce in which they do not play Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.
♦ To make Arturo de Córdova appear taller than Joan Fontaine, he had to wear lifts in his shoes, causing him to teeter when he walked.

Academy Award for Best Art Direction

Unfortunately, there aren’t any video clips of this movie. There are clips of the 1998 remake. ~Vic

19 thoughts on “Flick Friday: Frenchman’s Creek 1944

    Angel at Watchyourlifeinpictures said:
    September 21, 2019 at 12:00 AM

    I loved “Rebecca” when I was younger.

    “Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderly.”

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      September 21, 2019 at 12:45 AM

      Wow. I’d never heard of the author until today.

    bereavedandbeingasingleparent said:
    September 21, 2019 at 4:08 AM

    Love the Sherlock trivia. Never heard of Arturo so need to look him up.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      September 21, 2019 at 3:31 PM

      That was new info for me, too.

    badfinger20 said:
    September 21, 2019 at 4:52 PM

    She and her sister were so pretty… I’ve seen a lot of classic movies…one day you are going to pick one I’ve seen…this one does seem like an interesting story…it’s different

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      September 21, 2019 at 11:13 PM

      I’m always good for obscure s***. ;D

      I’m surprised it got made. Fontaine was on loan and was not happy about it.

        badfinger20 said:
        September 21, 2019 at 11:16 PM

        Didn’t the two sisters fight a lot? Seems like I remember them NOT getting along.

          The Hinoeuma responded:
          September 21, 2019 at 11:51 PM

          I had no knowledge of all that. I had to read up. My answer to all that…bad parenting. “Mommy” had issues and that got spread to her girls. If she pitted them against each other…

          Olivia is still alive. Joan passed in 2013.

            badfinger20 said:
            September 21, 2019 at 11:55 PM

            I just looked it up….they never did bury the hatchet before Joan died…that is sad…she died at 96.

              The Hinoeuma responded:
              September 22, 2019 at 1:08 AM

              It is a shame. Momma had a hand in that.

    badfinger20 said:
    September 21, 2019 at 4:53 PM

    I agree with you earlier…we are accustomed to Rock and Roll pirates now.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      September 21, 2019 at 11:16 PM

      Pretty much. Not that I’m complaining… Depp is/was entertaining.

        badfinger20 said:
        September 21, 2019 at 11:18 PM

        Depp would pick some of the best obscure stuff to be in until the Sparrow role… that is when he kinda crossed the line…it boosted his popularity…and I liked it…but love his old films like Whats Eating Gilbert Grape

          The Hinoeuma responded:
          September 22, 2019 at 12:00 AM

          I’ve never seen that but, I know a very young Leo DiCaprio is in it.

          Hard to believe he was in the original Nightmare on Elm Street. He definitely liked peculiar people.

          On a personal note, he needs to have his ass whipped. He is a bit of a dick.

    the britchy one said:
    September 21, 2019 at 11:47 PM

    I’m a huge Daphne Du Maurier fan. I’ve been to Fowey and Jamaica Inn and the setting for Frenchman’s Creek. I loved the book and the film, even though it was a grainy black and white Saturday afternoon special! I remember being thrilled when I found it on TV one rainy Saturday afternoon when I was younger. It beat the hell out of football that was the only other thing on!!

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      September 22, 2019 at 12:34 AM

      You are the second person to know who she was. I hadn’t a clue until I did this post. Angel, above, was into “Rebecca”. I must have been living in a cave.

      She apparently had some paranormal subtleties in her work. That fascinates me.

        the britchy one said:
        September 22, 2019 at 9:10 AM

        Have you ever seen the movie The Birds? She wrote the story that was based on. She’s a fabulous author. I loved a lot of her books. Actually quite a few have been made into films.

          The Hinoeuma responded:
          September 22, 2019 at 4:25 PM

          I have not. *sigh* I just read up. Yes, I’ve been in a cave.

          I noticed that Claude Debussy’s music is used in that film, as well. Interesting.

          I like Hitchcock stuff. Maybe, I need watch TCM more often and check out a Daphne book.

          I’m so uncultured. 🙄

            the britchy one said:
            September 22, 2019 at 6:19 PM

            I’d recommend starting with her short stories or Rebecca. I love Frenchman’s Creek and Jamaica Inn as well

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