Corridor of Mirrors (1948)

“I should have known that four centuries can’t change a woman’s soul.”

Mifanwy Conway (Edana Romney) lives in the countryside with her husband and children. It’s a lovely life, but she’s harboring a secret: a lover, Paul Mangin (Eric Portman).

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(Image via BFI)

He’s not a current lover, but a man from her past. Still, her family knows nothing of her history with him. He’s quite a notorious figure, earning a likeness in a wax museum full of famed criminals and cautionary tales.

Mifanwy met the man years ago, in a nightclub. She attracted his attention not simply because he found her beautiful… but because she looked like a painting hanging in his home. Convinced he’d discovered his own past life, which involved the woman in the painting, Paul thought himself and Mifanwy destined to be together in the present.

A strange and obsessive affair followed, which led to a disastrous end. We will learn all of the details, and why this relationship continues to haunt Mifanwy, in Corridor of Mirrors.

Corridor of Mirrors was directed by Terence Young, marking his directorial debut. The screenplay was written by Rudolph Cartier and Edana Romney, from a novel by Chris Massie. This was another of my discoveries from FilmStruck’s “Brit Noir” theme.

You’ve gotta love a film that opens with a woman waking in the middle of the night to the sound of a maniacal laugh! Mifanwy is a woman haunted by a secret, which leads her to have nightmares… and take trips to London to converse with wax figures.

This is one of only three films to star Edana Romney, who takes on the role of Mifanwy. Quite a shame, as I enjoyed her performance here. (Not to mention, she also co-wrote the screenplay! A multi-talented lady!)

Her leading man, Eric Portman, also gives a strong performance. His character is incredibly eccentric, consuming his entire life with an obsession with the past — from his clothes, to his home décor, to his relationships.

Through his obsession, some surreal elements are woven into the film which make it even more interesting. I wouldn’t say the ideas are totally original, but they’re played out here in a mysterious, suspenseful, somewhat fantastical way.

Paul’s obsessiveness gives the film quite an oppressive mood, creating a tense atmosphere along with the well-crafted score and photography. (The Venetian carnival scene is GORGEOUS.)

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(Image via The Last Drive In)

Also adding to the eeriness is the character of Veronica, a wonderfully odd woman with some obsessions of her own. She was probably my favorite part of the film, as much as I enjoyed watching the leads. Barbara Mullen steals the show.

Corridor of Mirrors is another one to add to my list of top-notch FilmStruck discoveries. Undeniably well-made and embracing the kookiness of its story, it is both fun and thrilling to watch, as well as lovely to look at. Recommended!

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