The Mark of Cain

An attractive young French girl instigates rivalry between two brothers when she becomes the bride of the younger one.

Beautiful young Sarah Bonheur is enchanted by the cultured Richard Howard who is visiting her ch√Ęteau near Bordeaux on a business trip. But Richard suffers his latest and most devastating humiliation by his dominant younger brother John who takes the deal out of Richard's hands and captures the affections of Sarah whom he marries and takes back to Manchester.

But Sarah, despite her best efforts, finds married life in John's gloomy mansion lonely and depressing and turns to Richard for advice. Now fired with hatred and jealousy toward his brother, he does his best to break up the marriage, but is ultimately unsuccessful.

John now falls ill and Richard poisons him, slyly exploiting the latent hostility of the household's servants toward Sarah in framing her for the crime...

This powerful drama is an interesting example of a strand of late 1940s British cinema, but has been long neglected and not shown on British TV for many years, if at all. Set in the late Victorian and early Edwardian eras, it has excellent period detail and the sets effectively highlight Sarah's alienation and despair in the Howards's suffocating and gloomy household.

Courtesy of the BFI

  The Mark of Cain (1947)  
  Mark of Cain video jacket  
Starring:Eric Portman, Sally Gray, Patrick Holt, Dermot Walsh, Denis O'Dea, Edward Lexy