Footsteps in the Fog (1955)

90 mins | Melodrama | September 1955

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HISTORY

Working titles of the film were Interruption , Rebound and Deadlock . Marjorie Rhodes' name was misspelled "Margory" in both the opening and closing the cast credits. A May 1954 DV news item notes that Patricia Medina was under consideration for the lead role and that Bob Goldstein was to produce the film. Oct 1954 news items in both HR and DV include Sir Cedric Hardwicke in the cast, but he did not appear in the completed film. Felix Aylmer is also included in some cast lists, but did not appear in the completed film. The same items report that the screenplay was to be written by Dorothy Reid and Mel Dinelli. Dinelli’s contribution, if any, to the finished script has not been determined. Stewart Granger was borrowed from M-G-M for the picture, the first made with his wife, Jean Simmons, since M-G-M’s 1953 production Young Bess (see below). ... More Less

Working titles of the film were Interruption , Rebound and Deadlock . Marjorie Rhodes' name was misspelled "Margory" in both the opening and closing the cast credits. A May 1954 DV news item notes that Patricia Medina was under consideration for the lead role and that Bob Goldstein was to produce the film. Oct 1954 news items in both HR and DV include Sir Cedric Hardwicke in the cast, but he did not appear in the completed film. Felix Aylmer is also included in some cast lists, but did not appear in the completed film. The same items report that the screenplay was to be written by Dorothy Reid and Mel Dinelli. Dinelli’s contribution, if any, to the finished script has not been determined. Stewart Granger was borrowed from M-G-M for the picture, the first made with his wife, Jean Simmons, since M-G-M’s 1953 production Young Bess (see below). More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
17 Sep 1955.
---
Daily Variety
6 May 1954.
---
Daily Variety
25 Oct 1954.
---
Daily Variety
22 Jun 1955.
---
Daily Variety
23 Aug 55
p. 3.
Film Daily
25 Aug 55
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Oct 1954.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Nov 1954
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jan 1955
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Aug 55
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
27 Aug 55
p. 569.
New York Times
15 Sep 55
p. 39.
Variety
24 Aug 55
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
An M. J. Frankovich Production
An M. S. Frankovich Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
Cost des
Stewart Granger's cost
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
SOUND
Sd supv
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairdressing
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "The Interruption" by W. W. Jacobs (publication undetermined).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Deadlock
Rebound
Interruption
Release Date:
September 1955
Production Date:
mid November 1954--mid January 1955 at Shepperton Studios, London
Copyright Claimant:
Film Locations, Ltd.
Copyright Date:
1 September 1955
Copyright Number:
LP7331
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound Recording
Color
Technicolor
Widescreen/ratio
1.85:1
Duration(in mins):
90
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17413
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In turn of the century London, after the unexpected death of his wife, Stephen Lowry finds himself wealthy and alone. Scullery maid Lily Watkins, who is despised as incompetent and flirtatious by stern cook Mrs. Park, secretly learns that Stephen poisoned his wife. When Stephen summons Lily to inquire about his wife’s jewels, she informs him that Mrs. Lowry gave them to her. Stephen accuses Lily of lying, but when she reveals she knows about the poisoning, he allows her to keep the jewels and promotes her to the position of housekeeper. Some time later, friend and business confidant Alfred Travers offers Stephen a partnership in his business and implies that the romantic relationship between his daughter Elizabeth and young attorney David MacDonald is not settled. Upon returning home, Stephen is outraged to find Lily trying on his wife’s clothing and wearing her perfume, but nevertheless begins an affair with her. A few days later, David asks Beth if she is in love with Stephen and when she admits that she is, he cautions her about getting involved with him. David then fabricates a reason to visit Stephen at home, but when he mentions Beth, Stephen grows indignant, declaring that he is still in mourning. Mrs. Park and butler Grimes interrupt the meeting to protest being fired by Lily, and David notices that Lily has on the same broach that Mrs. Lowry is wearing in a portrait. Later, Stephen angrily warns Lily not to take such foolish risks, but Lily assures him she can take care of him without other servants or Beth. When Stephen suggests that she might ... +


In turn of the century London, after the unexpected death of his wife, Stephen Lowry finds himself wealthy and alone. Scullery maid Lily Watkins, who is despised as incompetent and flirtatious by stern cook Mrs. Park, secretly learns that Stephen poisoned his wife. When Stephen summons Lily to inquire about his wife’s jewels, she informs him that Mrs. Lowry gave them to her. Stephen accuses Lily of lying, but when she reveals she knows about the poisoning, he allows her to keep the jewels and promotes her to the position of housekeeper. Some time later, friend and business confidant Alfred Travers offers Stephen a partnership in his business and implies that the romantic relationship between his daughter Elizabeth and young attorney David MacDonald is not settled. Upon returning home, Stephen is outraged to find Lily trying on his wife’s clothing and wearing her perfume, but nevertheless begins an affair with her. A few days later, David asks Beth if she is in love with Stephen and when she admits that she is, he cautions her about getting involved with him. David then fabricates a reason to visit Stephen at home, but when he mentions Beth, Stephen grows indignant, declaring that he is still in mourning. Mrs. Park and butler Grimes interrupt the meeting to protest being fired by Lily, and David notices that Lily has on the same broach that Mrs. Lowry is wearing in a portrait. Later, Stephen angrily warns Lily not to take such foolish risks, but Lily assures him she can take care of him without other servants or Beth. When Stephen suggests that she might better her situation by moving to Canada or America, Lily refuses, claiming that she will never leave him. Disturbed by Lily’s increasing hold upon him, Stephen impulsively follows her when she leaves to deliver a letter and, stalking her through the heavy fog, beats her to death with his heavy walking stick. Hurrying away through the fog, Stephen grapples with two men leaving a pub and loses the walking stick, then hides in a tree as the body is discovered. When the crowd finally disperses, Stephen makes his way home, only to be shocked when Lily returns safely moments later. She remarks about the commotion in the streets over a murder and while hanging up Stephen’s cape, finds it covered with blood and realizes his intentions. The police arrive to inform Stephen of the murder and reveal the victim as constable Burke’s wife, but Lily covers for Stephen’s whereabouts. The following day, Stephen is questioned by the police and when identified by the two men from the pub, arrested. Beth pleads with David to represent Stephen. At the trial, David casts doubt on the men from the pub by suggesting they were too drunk at the time to accurately identify Stephen. Lily testifies to having lost Stephen’s walking stick weeks before and confirms he remained home the night of the assault. Stephen is acquitted based largely on Lily’s unflappable testimony. Back at home, Stephen thanks Lily and confides that although he feels no guilt over poisoning his wealthy wife, he feels badly about the death of Katie Burke. When Stephen asks Lily if she is afraid of living with a murderer, she reveals that she has written a revelatory letter to her sister, Rose Moresby, but the note is to be opened only if something happens to her. Shortly after the trial, Stephen takes up his new post with Alfred’s company and over the next few months, begins seeing Beth regularly. Lily is furious when Stephen announces his engagement to Beth, but he placates her by explaining that as Alfred’s prospective son-in-law he will have greater access to the company’s money, which they can then use to flee to America and marry. When Stephen mentions the letter in Rose’s possession, Lily assures him that she will write and ask her to burn it. When Rose attempts to burn Lily’s letter, however, her husband Herbert questions her and later secretly retrieves it from the fireplace. Over the next few days, in a plan meant to frame Lily, Stephen begins poisoning himself slowly and grows sick, bringing the doctor on several visits. Meanwhile, David visits Alfred in order to try to convince him of Stephen’s involvement in Mrs. Lowry’s murder, but Alfred refuses to believe him. Upon leaving the Travers’ office, David is mistaken for Stephen by Herbert, who later shows David the charred letter and demands money for it. David takes Herbert to Alfred, who, along with Beth is upset about the letter’s implications. At the same time, Stephen has a relapse and pleads with Lily to get the doctor as quickly as possible. In her absence, Stephen doses himself with an extra amount of poison, believing that Lily will return with the doctor in minutes. The police pick up Lily and bring her to Alfred’s, where she submits to a writing sample, which she purposely alters. Terrified when Lily does not return, Stephen manages to call constable Burke for help. Before Lily hurries away from Alfred’s, a constable gets her hurried signature, which matches the writing on the letter. Upon arriving back at home, Lily finds the doctor and Burke, who, having discovered the vial and jewels in her room, accuse Lily of murdering Mrs. Lowry and attempting to kill Stephen. Realizing Stephen’s plan, Lily demands that he confess, but the dying Stephen only mutters that Lily threw off his timing. Faced with certain arrest and conviction, Lily laments that she was not Stephen’s victim in the fog. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.