CORRIDOR OF MIRRORS. Apollo, UK, 1948, Eric Portman, Edana Romney, Barbara Mullen, Hugh Sinclair, Bruce Belfrage, Alan Wheatley, Joan Maude, and Leslie Weston. Screenplay (and co-produced by) Rudolph Cartier and Edana Romney, “inspired by the novel by Chris Massey” whatever that means. Directed by Terence Young.

   So many things to say about this movie, but it comes down to two words: See it.

   And now for a lot more words, starting with a nod toward technology and the pleasures of living in an age when I can recommend a fairly obscure feature like this to readers who can actually see it. Remember the days when old-movie watching was dictated by local TV stations?

   Corridor seems to have been something of a vanity production — I assume writer/producer Romney was responsible for her showy billing —f or a career that fizzled. Pity, that, because on the evidence of this film, she had some talent and, though not a classical beauty, was possessed of a frank sex appeal that I found — well — appealing.

   The film itself, however, focuses largely on Eric Portman as a haughty dilettante obsessed with the past, specifically Renaissance Italy, and the portrait of a lady from that period, whom he tries to recreate, using Ms Romney’s character as his palimpsest — a theme wondrously revisited in Vertigo, and I have to say Corridor  stands comparison with Hitchcock’s classic for style and brooding, romantic atmosphere.

   Those familiar with Director Terence Young’s blunt, energetic movies may wonder at this. I wondered myself, and I suspect the beauty of this film may be more due to cinematographer André Thomas than any effort of Young’s. Whichever the case, this is a real dazzler, with striking chiaroscuro effects, beams of light bisecting depths of soft, curtained darkness, picking up just enough detail in the strikingly-realized sets (The Production Design and Art Direction by Serge Piménoff and Terence Verity deserve notice too.) to send our imaginations reeling through Portman’s sepulchral mansion like a drunkard at a wine tasting. Or like the convoluted multi-images of Portman and Romney whirl-waltzing through the multi-mirrored halls.

   The plot doesn’t bear close examination, and the ending gets a bit awkward, but there’s a fine atmosphere of impending violence and gloomy doom throughout, and the characters are drawn with agreeably theatrical flourishes that put this solidly in the one-f-a-kind category. And the must-see class as well!!