Emmy Beaudine (Siobhan McKenna) lives in a small village in Ireland.  The women of the village are prejudice against the young woman.  It appears that the men in the village are drawn to her, even the married ones.  The women believe that there is something wanton about the girl. 

At a gypsy carnival Emmy is approached by a young boxer named Dan (Maxwell Reed).  He takes her around the carnival.  Later he gets her to a quiet place and tries to assault her.  She scratches his eye and gets away.  Emmy lives on church property and works for the parish.  The “ladies” visit the parish priest, Father Cocoran (Liam Redmond) and tell him that they don’t want the brazen woman in their village.  They tell him that they want her gone.  Father Cocoran has sympathy for Emmy but to keep the peace in his parish he must send her away.  He finds a family in Yorkshire England that will hire her. 

The Tallent family consists of Mr. Tallent (George Thorpe), daughter Julie (Honor Blackman), and son Larry (Grant Tyler) as well as his other daughter Bess Stanforth (Anne Crawford) and her husband Bob (Barry Morse).  At first Emmy is welcomed into the household, except for Bess.  She’s not sure why, but there is something about Emmy that Bess doesn’t like. 

Things start to get out of hand when Julie’s fiancé, Saul Trevethick (Denis Goacher) tries to seduce Emmy and is caught by Julie and Bess.  Not long after that the carnival comes to Yorkshire and with it is a disfigured Dan looking for revenge.  Soon Dan disappears.  Not long after that, a young man from town, David Price (David Greene) is found dead.  Bess now fully believes that there is something wrong with Emmy and that she is responsible for the recent death and disappearance.     

“Daughter of Darkness” was released in 1948 and was directed by Lance Comfort.  It is a British crime thriller with gothic horror and noir touches.

Emmy is an unbalanced femme fatale.  A sort of black widow or praying mantis type serial killer. What I think attracts men is that Emmy looks like a waif and a loose woman at the same time.  McKenna’s character is unsettling and her performance as the quietly insane murderer is awesome.  You can see in her face when she changes from the demure servant to the murderous femme fatale.  It’s almost like she has a dual personality that shows up whenever she is alone with a man.  Men are attracted to her not because she is beautiful but because she appears to be vulnerable thus making them feel powerful.  Women don’t like her because they see her power over men.  Emmy is crazy, and a killer, but for some reason you sometimes feel sorry for her.  It ended up being an interesting film.

The film was based on a 1939 stage play, 'They Walk Alone,' by English playwright and novelist Max Catto.  Catto also adapted his play for the movie.

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