Friday, February 1, 2013

The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry

The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry has got to be one of the weirdest movies I have ever seen.  I streamed this last night on Netflix.  It was originally released on August 17, 1945.  The movie stars George Sanders as Harry Melville Quincey, Geraldine Fitzgerald as Lettie Quincey, Moyna MacHill as Hester Quincey, Ella Raines as Debora Brown and Sarah Allgood as Nona.

 George Sanders and Ella Raines as Uncle Harry and Deborah Brown.

Hmm...where do I begin?  Harry Quincey is a middle aged bachelor who lives in a huge house with his two sisters Lettie and Hester.  Lettie is very spoiled, doesn't work and likes to lay around in bed pretending to be sick so that she can be the center of attention.  Lettie is especially needy of Harry's attention which is very weird.  Hester is the widowed sister who moved in after her husband passed away.    The Quincey family used to be quite wealthy but lost their fortune during the depression    Harry went to work in a fabric mill to support the family.  Since Harry is older he is known as uncle Harry at the mill.  Harry has been looking after his sisters for years and seems content with his life until he meets Deborah Brown at the factory.  Deborah arrives at the factory from New York as a new fabric designer.

Deborah and Harry are attracted to one another and fall in love.  At first I was not so sure if Deborah was just using Harry, but since she stuck around for so many months waiting to marry him I figured she really did love him.  

Hester is very happy for Harry and encourages the relationship.  Hester always wanted Harry to fall in love and get married.  Lettie on the other hand is not happy.  Lettie does not want Harry to ever get married and for her to remain his center of attention.  How weird is that?  Lettie does not like Deborah and becomes jealous of her.  

Lettie meeting Deborah for the first time.  

Geraldine Fitzgerald as Lettie Quincey.

Harry and Deborah become engaged and decide to make the huge Quincey family home their residence.  This means that Lettie and Hester will have to move out .  Lettie finds something wrong with every house she and Hester looks at.  Harry and Deborah are waiting for Hester and Lettie to move out so they can get married and she can move in.  Deborah does not want to move in while the two sisters are living there and I don't blame her.  Lettie was way too creepy. 


After six months of Lettie being uncooperative about moving out Deborah confronts Harry about it.  Just like Hester, Deborah realizes that Lettie is deliberately trying to separate her from Harry.  Harry and Deborah decide to get married anyway and move to New York.  The plan is thwarted when Lettie feigns another illness and is carried away from church services in an ambulance.  Deborah tells Harry that he has to choose between her and Lettie.  Herry chooses to remain in Corinth to make sure that Lettie is really okay and that is when Deborah throws in the towel.

Some time later everyone in Corinth finds out that Deborah is engaged to another man.  All of a sudden Lettie feels better and jumps out of bed happy.  Hester confronts Lettie and accuses her of deliberately ruining any chance of happiness that Harry could have had with Deborah.  They have a huge argument and Harry realizes that what Hester said is true.  

I am not going to say anymore about this movie.  If you want to know what happens after Hester and Lettie have the argument you will have to watch the movie.   The above screen-cap is actually shown at the end of the movie so I will not disclose the ending or anymore about this film.  

George Sanders and director Robert Siodmak on the set of The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry.

Gerald Fitzgerald, director Robert Siodmak and George Sanders during production.

Movie sets for The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry

Screen caps of Ella Raines in The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry.

I must give an honorable mention to actress Sara Allgood who plays Nona, the housekeeper for the Quincey family.

This is a weird and interesting movie with a surprising ending.

Old-Fashioned Charm

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