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Friday, March 22, 2013

Supernatural gem! Flesh and Fantasy (1943) Edward G. Robinson, Barbara Stanwyck, Charles Boyer

Flesh and Fantasy is a 1943 American anthology film directed by Julien Duvivier and based upon stories by Oscar Wilde. The making of this film was inspired by the success of Duvivier's previous anthology film, the 1942 Tales of Manhattan.

Flesh and Fantasy tells three stories, unrelated but with a supernatural theme, by Ellis St. Joseph, Oscar Wilde,and László Vadnay. Tying together the three segments is a conversation about the occult between two clubmen, one played by humorist Robert Benchley.

Edward G. Robinson as Marshall Tyler
Charles Boyer as Paul Gaspar
Barbara Stanwyck as Joan Stanley
Betty Field as Henrietta
Robert Cummings as Michael
Thomas Mitchell as Septimus Podgers
Charles Winninger as King Lamarr
Robert Benchley as Doakes
C. Aubrey Smith as the Dean of Norwald
Edgar Barrier as the Proprietor of the Mask Shop

Deleted Scenes:
As originally filmed and edited, the feature began with a half-hour sequence concerning an escaped killer (Alan Curtis) who finds refuge with a farmer (Frank Craven) and his blind daughter (Gloria Jean).

This sequence ended with a spectacular storm scene, staged by director Duvivier and photographer Paul Ivano, in which the enraged killer races after the blind girl. The forces of nature spare the girl but strike down the killer. The preview audience raved about this scene, but the studio removed it and shelved it. (The very end of the deleted scene survives in the final print: the killer's body washes up on shore.)

To replace the missing footage, Universal connected the remaining three segments with new footage of humorist Robert Benchley. In 1944 Universal incorporated the Gloria Jean-Alan Curtis footage into a feature-length melodrama, Destiny; Reginald LeBorg directed the new scenes, and shared director credit with Duvivier.

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