Gone to Earth (1950)

Gone to Earth (1950), written, produced and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.

A Powell/Pressburger title I had never heard of. It has their usual vivid technicolor and romantic composition. The small story is a bit of a bodice-ripper, though set in 1897.

Hazel (Jennifer Jones) is a slightly witchy young woman. She's always barefoot, studies a spell book, has a pet fox and all the animals love her. All except the hunting dogs. Regarding men: "I keep myself to myself. Eat in company, sleep alone."

Her father keeps bees and makes coffins. When he plays the harp she sings and hales men's souls from their bodies.

In a rash moment she vows to marry the first man to ask. The dangerously manly and masterful fox-hunting squire (David Farrar) stirs her blood, but she winds up with the mild and decent parson (Cyril Cusack). Vast disturbance in the community when the squire carries her away to his halls. It will end in tears.

The moral: innocent beings like foxes and young women cause a certain amount of mischief but it is sad when they are hunted by the predatory forces of the world.

According to the wikipedia article, David O. Selznick (Jennifer Jones's husband) reshot parts of the film and released it as The Wild Heart (1952), which is not as well liked.

It doesn't seem to be available as a region 1 DVD. The one I saw was a Korean import. Uncut, good color, but detail only fair.