Va-Va-Villainess: Jean Simmons

Published August 9, 2022 by biggayhorrorfan

As the coolly calculating Lily Watkins in 1957’s Footsteps in the Fog, the crisp Jean Simmons uses her refined speaking tone and calm demeanor to create a convincing portrait of a woman blindly motivated by her obsessions. 

Watkins, a servant in the home of the esteemed, murderous Stephen Lowry (Stewart Granger), is determined to become the mistress of his manor when she discovers that her employer is not merely a grieving widower but actually a cruel cad who did away with his older, well-to-do wife. Soon, the cunning woman has elevated herself to the head of the household staff and granted herself access to all the jewelry and clothing of the recently expired lady of the manor.

With bright fire in her eyes, Simmons unwaveringly enacts her character’s determined escalation into the land of no return. Even when it becomes obvious that Lowry would rather murder her than be bound to her via blackmail & manipulations, she remains resolute in her intentions to make him her own. Nicely, though, as the plot twists and turns towards a conclusion, Simmons also lets us see the beating heart of her creation. Her tender wounds and sorrow bleed out toward the surface, allowing for a fully rounded portrait not just a picture-perfect glance at pure evil. 

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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