Flick Review < Ladies in retirement | Charles Vidor, 1941



Louisa – “Isn’t it funny Ellen. You can’t see the wind, you can’t touch it. But it’s there.”
Ellen – “I think you’d better have this around you dear. (She puts a wrap around 
Louisa’s shoulders) it’s getting quite chilly.”
Emily “Listen, what’s that?”
Ellen- “those are the priory bells from over the marshes”
Emily- “oh, shan’t like that.”
Louisa leans over and tells Bates that Emily hates bells.
Emily adds, “especially church bells. Ding dong ding dong ding dong”
Louisa- “Aren’t the marshes pretty?”
Emily- “the grass is too long and untidy. If I had a knife and a bit of string I’d cut it and 
tie it up in bundles.”
Bates looks horrified Louisa asks Bates, “Are there any sheep here in the marshes?”
“Yes Miss”
Louisa “I think sheep are so clever to chew their cud the way they do. It’s fairly difficult. I’ve tried.”
Bates-“you oughta be a sailor Miss, they’re always chewing tobacco.”
Louisa- “The man I was to marry was a sailor. He gave me this.(She shows him her periscope)
 it’s all I have to remember him by. He was wrecked at sea. They were all drowned.
(a dreamy smile washes over her)
Bates-“must have been a bit of sadness for you Miss.”
Louisa –“Oh no, I’ve quite forgotten what he looked like.”
Emily–“I saw a drowned man once. They took him out of the Thames. He was green.”
Louisa wide eyed like a little girl –“Frogs. There must be lots of frogs. We used to have such
 fun with them at home. We used to put them on the dining room table, and make them
 jump in the marmalade pot.”


Louisa Creed: “I hate the dark. It frightens me.”
Sister Theresa: “It shouldn’t, my dear. Don’t you believe we’re watched over?”
Louisa Creed: “Oh yes. But I’m never quite sure who’s watching us.”


Ellen Creed: “It takes a lot of courage to kill for the first time, Albert. Once you’ve sold 
your soul to the devil, murder is so much easier the second time. Much easier.”

Edith Barrett, Ida Lupino, Elsa Lanchester, 1941 


Ellen Creed: “Hell is like the kingdom of Heaven. It’s within.”


 Ladies in retirement, 1941
Director: Charles Vidor
Writers: Garrett Fort, Reginald Denham, Edward Percy ( play )
Cinematography: George Barnes
Stars: Ida Lupino, Louis Hayward, Evelyn Keyes

Ida Lupino on the set of Ladies in Retirement (1941)

“Crime drama that’s based on the play by Reginald Denham and Edward Percy–which i
n turn was based upon the true story from 1886. It’s smartly and tautly co-written by 
Denham and Garrett Fort, while the ensemble cast all give striking performances … 
The 23-year-old Lupino played the 40-year-old sinister Ellen to ice cold perfection,
 with no small help from her make-up."

Film critic Dennis Schwartz 

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