Skip to content

Moonfleet (1955) Stewart Granger Day 1 of 5

“Moonfleet is a nest for smugglers.”

moon5

Moonfleet was actually a novel that I had to read in Grade ten English class. At the time I had little interest in this Treasure Island style tale. I would have much preferred to finish my assignments on the novel by getting my hands on the Fritz Lang film version starring Stewart Granger. Not so easy back in the days before TCM and when the VHS market was emerging. Film titles were slowly being released by their rights holders but many like this fifties title were not exactly in high demand.

Moonfleet4

Our tale begins in 1757 when a young Jon Whiteley is orphaned and sent to find Granger with a letter of introduction. Granger is to be his new Master. Taken by surprise this doesn’t sit well with Stewart as the boy might get in the way of his smuggling operation. Granger fronts for a gang of cutthroats. He’s a well to do man of the village who parties with the likes of George Sanders and takes women as they come. This includes Viveca Lindfors and even Sander’s wife Joan Greenwood.

moon3

It isn’t long before Granger’s young charge gets in the way by discovering the gang of scurvy and the fact that Granger is their leader. Mixed in with these thieves is character favorite Jack Elam. It’s during these scenes of discovery that Lang successfully gives the film an eerie quality through the eyes of a young boy exploring an ancient graveyard filled with decaying crypts and rather scary statues. Tales of a Red Beard ghost and a lost diamond treasure add to the film’s period flavor.

moon6

With the gang wanting the boy silenced for good and constable John Hoyt trying to figure out how Granger is involved in the smuggling our leading man has his hands full. There’s plenty of excitement and swordplay as Stewart and the boy try to find the location of the missing diamond and stay one step ahead of both the police and the smugglers that want their justice from being betrayed by Granger for the sake of the boy.

moon7

This is Granger in his prime years as a matinee idol. He’s given plenty to do here with both sword and romance. Granger fit so well into the costume epics of the day when stars like Errol Flynn were a fading commodity in tinsel town. Women seemed to naturally swoon at his touch and kiss.

As for Fritz Lang, his best years were behind him and this was one of his final films in America before going overseas to direct a few features and even appear as himself in Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt.

While George Sanders can play a wonderful snob he doesn’t have too much to do this time out but does have a great line when describing the young boy in Granger’s care, “Vicious little chap. Spilled a glass of wine over me.”

Moonfleet6

So while Lang directed this novel by J. Meade Falkner it was produced by John Houseman who at this time was known for producing but would of course move into acting in his senior years with much success.

Along with well known character actors Jack Elam and John Hoyt we also have Alan Napier as the local minister. Napier was another “face” who would eventually find fame as Alfred the butler on the Adam West Batman series of the sixties.

napier

While I don’t recall how I fared on my English assignment I do know that this is a fun film worth seeking out for fans of both Fritz Lang and leading man Stewart Granger.

 

4 Comments »

  1. I likewise remember encountering the novel as a kid and finding it dull as ditchwater. The great title got me through the first few chapters, but thereafter it just stared at me accusingly from the shelf until it conveniently got lost.

    The movie, as you say, is another thing altogether. Tremendous fun, and with great performances all round, not least from young Jon Whiteley.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

"DESTROY ALL FANBOYS!"

Smashing System Bias Since 1972...

Movies ala Mark

With a Cast of Thousands

Classic Horrors

From silent screen to Halloween, and everything scary in between.

IDENTIKIT

The current online container for the writer Konrad Wardh

Just Hit Play

The Good, the Bad and sometimes Ugly in film

Strother Martin Film Project

What we've got here is failure to communicate

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Wolfmans Cult Film Club

Cult, B-Movies, cheesy fun films to Film Noir to classics new to me.

Talking Pulp

All things pulp and then some

cinema cities

a personal odyssey through film

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

Scenes from the Morgue

The Lost Art of Pulp Ads: Film, Booze, Smokes & More!

Film Speech

All things film and television

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

portraitsbyjenni

My perspective on life & Classic Movie Recommendations

Statis Pro 1978 Replay

Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking deeper at the best classic movies

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Canadian Cinephile

"The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them." - Alfred Hitchcock

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

The Film Authority

You're ten seconds from watching an amazing film...

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

hitchcockmaster

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

An Irreverent Blog of Old Movies

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

filmgeek101

classic movie views for the classic and not-so-classic movie fan

Riding the High Country

Reviews and ramblings

Speakeasy

movies galore

"DESTROY ALL FANBOYS!"

Smashing System Bias Since 1972...

Movies ala Mark

With a Cast of Thousands

Classic Horrors

From silent screen to Halloween, and everything scary in between.

IDENTIKIT

The current online container for the writer Konrad Wardh

Just Hit Play

The Good, the Bad and sometimes Ugly in film

Strother Martin Film Project

What we've got here is failure to communicate

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Wolfmans Cult Film Club

Cult, B-Movies, cheesy fun films to Film Noir to classics new to me.

Talking Pulp

All things pulp and then some

cinema cities

a personal odyssey through film

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

Scenes from the Morgue

The Lost Art of Pulp Ads: Film, Booze, Smokes & More!

Film Speech

All things film and television

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

portraitsbyjenni

My perspective on life & Classic Movie Recommendations

Statis Pro 1978 Replay

Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking deeper at the best classic movies

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Canadian Cinephile

"The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them." - Alfred Hitchcock

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

The Film Authority

You're ten seconds from watching an amazing film...

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

hitchcockmaster

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

An Irreverent Blog of Old Movies

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

filmgeek101

classic movie views for the classic and not-so-classic movie fan

Riding the High Country

Reviews and ramblings

Speakeasy

movies galore

%d bloggers like this: