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The Case of the Frightened Lady is a 1940 British, black-and-white, crime, drama, mystery thriller, directed by George King and starring Ronald Shiner as Detective Sergeant Tatty, Felix Aylmer, Helen Haye and Marius Goring. It was produced by Pennant Picture Productions and presented by British Lion Film Corporation. The film is based on a play by Edgar Wallace.
This production was the second time that Wallace's play had been adapted for the cinema. The first production in 1932 was directed by T. Hayes Hunter and starred Emlyn Williams. The BBC also produced two television versions; the first in 1938 and the second in 1983 which starred Warren Clarke and Virginia McKenna.
The story is a thriller that revolves around the Lebanon family who live at Mark's Priory. Lady Lebanon (Helen Haye) tells her son, Lord William Lebanon (Marius Goring) that he must marry his cousin Isla Crane (Penelope Dudley Ward) to continue the family line. However, William has no intention of marrying Isla and matters are made more complicated due to Isla falling in love with architect, Richard Ferraby (Patrick Barr), who has come to Mark's Priory to draw up renovation plans. At the same time, the strange behavior of two footmen and the family physician (Felix Aylmer) add to the mystery surrounding the family and eventually rumor and speculation lead to a murderous conclusion.
Ronald Alfred Shiner (8 June 1903, London -- 29 June 1966, London) was a British stand-up comedian and comedic actor whose career encompassed film, West End theatre and music hall.
Sir Felix Edward Aylmer Jones, OBE (21 February 1889 -- 2 September 1979) was an English stage actor who also appeared in the cinema and on television.
Helen Haye (28 August 1874 -- 1 September 1957) was a British stage and film actress.
She began acting on the stage in 1898 and debuted in London in 1911 as Gertrude in Hamlet. Her film career began in 1917. She often worked with director Alexander Korda. She made her final film appearance in Laurence Olivier's Richard III (1955), as the Duchess of York.
Marius Goring CBE (23 May 1912 -- 30 September 1998) was an English stage and cinema actor. He is most often remembered for the four films he did with Powell & Pressburger, particularly as Conductor 71 in A Matter of Life and Death and as Julian Craster in The Red Shoes. He regularly performed French and German roles.
Goring was born in Newport, Isle of Wight, England, the son of Doctor Charles Goring and Kate Macdonald. After attending The Perse School in Cambridge, where he became a friend of an older boy, the future documentary film maker Humphrey Jennings, he studied at the universities of Cambridge, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna and Paris. He first performed professionally in 1927. His early stage career included appearances at the Old Vic, Sadler's Wells, Stratford and several European tours; he was fluent in French and German. He first worked in the West End in a 1934 revival of Granville-Barker's The Voysey Inheritance at the Shaftesbury Theatre. During the 1930s, he played a variety of Shakespearean roles, including Feste in Twelfth Night (1937), Macbeth and Romeo, in addition to Trip in Sheridan's The School for Scandal. In 1929, he became a founding member of British Equity, the actor's union, and became its president from 1963 to 1965, and again from 1975 to 1982. Goring's relationship with his union was fraught: he took it to litigation on three occasions. In 1992 he unsuccessfully sought to end the block on the sale of radio and television programmes to (the still) apartheid South Africa.
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