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Lady Possessed

Lady Possessed(1952)

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Del Palma, the novel on which this film was based, was originally published in Britain in 1943 as A Lady Possessed. Lady Possessed began as an independent production by James Mason and his wife, Pamela Kellino, for their company, Portland Pictures, Inc., named after their daughter. As detailed in Mason's autobiography, they intended to use frozen funds in Britain to shoot half of the film there then return to Hollywood to complete it. William Spier, the husband of June Havoc, the female lead, and a former radio director, was hired to work on the screenplay and direct. However, the Masons were disappointed with the screenplay and rewrote it. Complications arose when the British union would not permit American Spier to work there, so British director Roy Kellino, Pamela Mason's ex-husband, was hired to do the British sequences and Spier to do the American ones. Mason states that Havoc was unhappy with taking direction from Kellino, so Mason directed some of the British material. Upon returning to the U.S., the Masons had difficulty raising funds to complete the film and ultimately made a deal with Republic Studios. Roy Kellino appears to have worked on the American-made sequences as well.
       In addition to the aforementioned relationships, songwriter Kay Thompson was Spier's ex-wife and actor John P. Monaghan was Mason's personal assistant. One of the Masons' several cats has a role in the film, according to a contemporary source. Although the opening credits read "Introducing Stephen Dunne," he had already appeared as a major character or lead in a number of films. In modern sources, Mason stated that London's Bedford Theatre and his former home, Olleberrie Farm, were featured in the film.