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A Place of One's Own

A Place of One's Own title card

Year - 1945
Studio - Gainsborough Pictures
Stars - James Mason, Margaret Lockwood, Barbara Mullen, Dennis Price, Helen Haye, Michael Shepley, Ernest Thesiger
Director - Bernard Knowles
Writing Credits - Osbert Sitwell (novel), Brock Williams (screenplay)
Music - Hubert Bath


Henry Smedhurst (James Mason) purchases, at a great bargain, a country mansion, Bellingham House, for he and his wife Emilie, (Barbara Mullen) to live in retirement. The house has been standing unoccupied for over 40 years, because of its reputation among the locals for being haunted. They hire a young companion, Annette (Margaret Lockwood) for Mrs. Smedhurst to have some youthful energy in their home. Annette tells them that she felt drawn to the house. Annette is introduced to a family friend, a young Dr. Selbie, and they eventually became engaged.

Soon strange events occur. They believe they hear a faint female voice saying, "Send for Dr. Marsham." Annette hears piano music and other ghostly sounds, and soon begins to behave as if someone is possessing her. Dr. Selbie is unable to find a medical reason for her condition, even after bringing in expert consulting physicians.

A Place of One's Own poster

Henry investigates the history of the house and discovers that a young woman, Elizabeth Harkness, had died there, with suspicions that she was murdered. The suspects had fled to America, but perished when their ship went down. Elizabeth had been under the care of a Dr. Marsham, but no one knew what had happened to him. Henry goes to the local police to request their help in locating him.

As Annette's condition deteriorates and became critical, there is a late night knock at the door, and an elderly man introduces himself as Dr. Marsham (Ernest Thesiger). They lead him to Annette's room, and he enters alone. When he emerges, he assures them that Annette would be fine in the morning, and he departs. The next morning her health, indeed, is back to normal, and she and Dr. Selbie begin happily planning their marriage.

The police chief arrives at the house, and announces that they have located Dr. Marsham, but that he, unfortunately had died the previous night. It had occurred about one hour before his appearance at the house.

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A Place of One's Own was suggested for this site by Karine Philippot.