|Directed by||Terence Young|
|Produced by||William Sistrom|
|Written by||Nicholas Phipps |
|Based on||story by Alec Coppel|
|Starring||Stewart Granger |
|Music by||Lambert Williamson|
|Edited by||Vera Campbell|
Woman Hater is a 1948 British romantic comedy film directed by Terence Young and starring Stewart Granger, Edwige Feuillère and Ronald Squire. The screenplay concerns Lord Datchett, who invites a French film star to stay at his house but pretends to be one of his employees while he tries to romance her with the help of his butler. When she discovers his subterfuge she decides to turn the tables on him.
Lord Datchett is a misogynist who persuades his friend not to get married. He believes women are vain, trivial and dull. He is irritated when French film star Colette Marly arrives in London and takes the table in a restaurant where he wanted to sit. He is scathing of her claims in the newspaper that she is tired of publicity and of men pursuing her, believing it to be an attempt to get more attention. He predicts that if she were really left alone she would throw herself at the first man she met. After being challenged by a man at his club, Datchett decides to invite her to stay at his house, aiming to stage a "scientific experiment" and prove his theory.
Marly is genuinely weary of her publicity-seeking agent and is besieged by autograph hunters and journalists. When she receives Datchett's invitation to stay at his house, she accepts in the hope of some solitude. After travelling down to his country house with her maid Clair, she is greeted by Datchett's butler Jameson and Lord Datchett who pretends to be Henry Dodds, the estate manager. The other staff have also been informed to help maintain the deception.
Datchett tries to discover more about Marly, but she is initially unforthcoming. Slowly they begin to bond, after they go riding and when they are locked in a cellar for several hours and get drunk on brandy. Clair meanwhile flirts with both Jameson and Patrick, the Irish gardener, provoking them into jealousy and rivalry.
When Reverend Meadows arrives at the house with a christening party for whom Datchett has agreed to be a godfather, Marly discovers Datchett's true identity despite his efforts to deceive her. At first she plans to leave in a fury, but then she decides to play along with Datchett's pretense, intending to teach him a lesson. While out boating on a lake, she pretends to be in distress so that he can be a gallant rescuer, but when he is knocked unconscious, she becomes the rescuer.
Datchett's elderly mother Lady Datchett arrives, and he persuades her to join in the ploy; she tries, without much success. Eventually Marly reveals to Datchett that she knows who he really is. They are both forced to confront their feelings for each other, and he admits he is in love with her. He asks her to marry him, but she reveals it has all been intended to teach him a lesson. He goes away, crestfallen, but she then realises she is in love with him.
At the suggestion of Clair, Marly stages her drowning for a second time. Datchett is about to return to London after admitting the experiment was a failure when he hears her cries for help. He comes to rescue her, but once again it is she who ends up rescuing him. Once safely on the bank, they end up embracing.
- Stewart Granger as Lord Datchett
- Edwige Feuillère as Colette Marly
- Ronald Squire as Jameson
- Jeanne de Casalis as Clair
- Michael Medwin as Harris
- Miles Malleson as Reverend Meadows
- James Hayter as Burrell the gatekeeper
- Dandy Nichols as Mrs Burrell
- Mary Jerrold as Lady Datchett
- David Hutcheson as Robert
- W.A. Kelly as Patrick
- Georgina Cookson as Julia
- Henry Edwards as Major
- Stewart Rome as Colonel Weston
- Valentine Dyall as Spencer
- Graham Moffatt as Autograph hunter
- Davy Burnaby as Grandfather
- Vi Kaley as Grandmother
- Peter Bull as Fletcher
- Irene Handl as Mrs Fletcher
- Eddie Sutch as Harry Fletcher
In January 1948 it was announced Australian writer Alec Coppel had sold a story to Stewart Granger called Woman Hater. French actor Edwige Feullere would co star. The casting of French actor was announced shortly afterwards.
Granger was one of the biggest stars in British cinema at the time, best known for appearing in melodramas. He said he wanted to make the film as it gave him a chance to appear in a comedy.
Fuillere arrived in London in mid February. She had been learning English for three months, a process interrupted by appearing on the Paris stage in The Eagle Has Two Heads which had been a huge success. She was one of a number of French actors appearing in British films at the time, others including Nila Parely in Snowbound, Anne Vernon in Warning to Wantons, and Anouk in The Golden Salamander.
Filming took started in March 1948, mostly taking place at Denham Studios. Location work was done in Warwickshire at the home of the Marquis of Northampton. "Comedy is serious business", said Granger. "It is not always easy to get into the spirit of light hearted sophisticated comedy."
The art director, editor, set designer and casting director on the film were all women.
The film was released in London in October 1948. British critics were harsh on Granger's performance.
Variety said "Normally, farce doesn't call for much in story values, but relies on laughter-raising situations and snappy dialog. With "Woman Hater" the situations are too obviously contrived and the dialog so patently transparent that many of the frivolous interludes lose much of their value, and only serve to underline the thinness of the plot."
- "Woman Hater (1948)". bfi.org.uk. BFI. Archived from the original on 13 January 2009. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
- "Woman Hater". Monthly Film Bulletin. 15 (169). London. 1 January 1948. p. 156.
- "THIS WEEK". The Mail. Adelaide. 24 January 1948. p. 18. Retrieved 20 June 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
- "The stars look down (their noses)". The Courier-Mail. Brisbane. 8 May 1948. p. 2. Retrieved 3 June 2012 – via National Library of Australia.
- "French star brings the latest mode". The Sun. New South Wales, Australia. 15 February 1948. p. 23. Retrieved 15 June 2020 – via Trove.
- "Gossip Among Stars". The Argus. Melbourne. 22 March 1949. p. 5 (The Argus Woman's Magazine). Retrieved 15 June 2020 – via Trove.
- "SCREEN-STAGE JOBS FOR "ROOM" STARS". The Mail. Adelaide. 19 June 1948. p. 3 Supplement: SUNDAY MAGAZINE. Retrieved 20 June 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
- Nepean, Edith. (10 July 1948). "Round the British Studios". Picture Show. 52 (1345). London. p. 7.
- "SIX WOMEN WERE BEHIND FILM PRODUCTION". Weekly Times. Victoria, Australia. 28 February 1951. p. 46. Retrieved 15 June 2020 – via Trove.
- "STAR FLOPS AS COMIC". The Mirror. Western Australia. 6 November 1948. p. 15. Retrieved 15 June 2020 – via Trove.
- Review of film at Variety
- Robert Murphy, Realism and Tinsel: Cinema and Society in Britain 1939–48 2003 p211
- Thumim, Janet. "The popular cash and culture in the postwar British cinema industry". Screen. Vol. 32 no. 3. p. 258.
- "WOMAN HATER". Retrieved 23 May 2012.