Footsteps in the Fog

Footsteps in the Fog is a 1955 British Technicolor film noir crime film starring Stewart Granger and Jean Simmons, with a screenplay co-written by Lenore Coffee and Dorothy Davenport, and released by Columbia Pictures. The film is based on the short story "The Interruption" by W. W. Jacobs.[2]

Footsteps in the Fog
Directed byArthur Lubin
Produced byM. J. Frankovich
Maxwell Setton
Written byW. W. Jacobs (short story)
Lenore J. Coffee
Dorothy Davenport
Arthur Pierson
StarringStewart Granger
Jean Simmons
Music byBenjamin Frankel
CinematographyChristopher Challis
Edited byAlan Osbiston
Frankovich Productions
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • June 1955 (1955-06)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office552,430 admissions (France)[1]

It was shot at Shepperton Studios, with sets designed by the art director Wilfred Shingleton.


After poisoning his wife, the master of the house Stephen Lowry (Stewart Granger) is blackmailed by his Cockney maid Lily Watkins (Jean Simmons), who demands promotion. As she steadily takes the place of his dead wife, he again attempts murder. While attempting to murder Lily, by following someone who looked like her through the fog, he mistakenly kills Constable Burke's wife and gets chased by an angry mob, which he evades. Lily returns home and Stephen learns of his mistake. Some local bar goers saw him murder Mrs Burke and Stephen is put on trial, but their claims are dismissed after it is revealed they drink a lot and Lily lies to provide an alibi.

Stephen now wishes to remarry and decides to finally rid himself of the maid. He feigns illness and sends the maid to fetch the doctor. She says she will return urgently with the doctor within five minutes. He calculates this will be enough time for him to frame the maid by drinking the poison that he used to kill his own wife and planting it and his wife's jewelry in the maid's room.

Lily is, however, detained by the police as a "tell-all" letter she has written to her sister, to safeguard herself after the master's failed plot to kill her, surfaces.

The master's plan does not work as Lily returns too late and the doctor declares it is too late to save him. Lily pieces together the situation realising that Stephen never loved her, then is arrested by police at the scene.




The film was based on a story "The Interruption", first published in the July 4, 1925, issue of Liberty magazine and later collected in Sea Whispers in 1926. Arthur Lubin bought the rights to the story in August 1949 for his own company. Several parties were interested in the story. The rights holders liked the job Lubin did on Two Sinners based on the story of a friend of theirs, Warwick Deeping. Lubin hoped to make the film in October 1949 from a script by Dorothy Reid with Glenn Ford starring.[3]

However Lubin instead made Francis the Talking Mule and became busy doing comedies with animals. He continued to seek finance for The Interruption saying he wanted to "remind producers that he can direct people too."[4] In August 1951 he said he said signed Leonard Styles to play the barrister and wanted to make the movie after It Grows on Trees.[5] In April 1952 Lubin said Dorothy Reid was writing a script and that he hoped to star Jean Simmons or Jennifer Jones in the female lead and Robert Donat in the male lead.[6]

In July 1952 Lubin said he was about to sign a deal with James Woolf of Romulus Films.[7] He visited England in August seeking to raise finance and hoped for Terence Rattigan to write the script.[8]

In October 1953 Lubin, who had just made Star of India in England, said he planned to shoot it in that country as The Interrupted with Glynis Johns starring.[9] In March 1954 the film was called Deadlock and Lubin had sent a script to Alec Guinness.[10] Then in June 1954 Lubin said Columbia had agreed to finance and that Maureen O'Hara and George Sanders would star.[11]

Then in October Lubin announced the stars would be Stewart Granger and Jean Simmons and the film would be made by Mike Frankovich's company, Film Locations. [12] Later the title would be changed to Rebound[13] before Footsteps in the Fog.

The film was to be the second in a four picture slate from Frankovich's Film Locations. The first was Fire Over Africa. The third was to be Ghosts of Drury Lane directed by Lubin. The fourth was to be Matador starring and directed by Jose Ferrer.[14] The third and fourth films were not made.


Arthur Lubin enjoyed making the film. "Mike [Frankovich] was a very nice person to work for," he recalled. "I had problems with the leading man, Stewart Granger, who hated me. He didn't like anything. He would go to Frankovich and say 'Mike, if Lubin doesn't stop annoying me I'm going to be sick tomorrow.' But miraculously the picture turned out to be a good one."[15]


Gene Blottner said the movie is a "good Gothic noir" with both Simmons and Grainger "believably playing vile characters."[16]

Lubin wanted to follow it with another film for Frankovich, Ghosts of Drury Lane.[17] However it was not made.

Diabolique magazine called it "an unpretentious, enjoyable little thriller... it doesn’t hit great expressionistic heights but is lots of fun, and it’s a shame box office receptions weren’t strong enough to allow him do more work in this line."[18]


  1. Box office information for Stewart Granger films in France at Box Office Story
  2. "Footsteps in the Fog – Screenplay Info". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
  3. Super Oscar Winners Likely to Join Forces; Latin Gains Star Rating Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 15 Aug 1949: B7
  4. HOLLYWOOD DIGEST: Change in Taft-Hartley Act Sought by Actors Guild--R.K.O. Survey--Addenda European Canvass Songstress Returns Out of a Rut By THOMAS M. PRYOR. New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]02 Sep 1951: 57.
  5. Drama: Louis Jourdan Stars in 'Happy Time;' Hugo Haas Will Play Pianist Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 15 Dec 1951: 9.
  6. HEDDA HOPPER: 'Rogue's March' Will Claim Peter Lawford Los Angeles Times1 Apr 1952: 16.
  7. Drama: Marines Again Will Land in 'Beachhead;' Singing Dog on Program Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 21 July 1952: B9.
  9. Lancaster Limping, but Production Plans Spurt; Glynis Will 'Interrupt' Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (27 Oct 1953: B9.
  10. Drama: Lubin Plans Fifth in 'Francis' Series Los Angeles Times 25 Mar 1954: A8.
  11. Sanders and Maureen O'Hara Thriller Stars; Price Will Coproduce Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 18 June 1954: B7.
  12. WARNERS TO CUT 'A STAR IS BORN': The New York Times 23 Oct 1954: 13.
  13. Marmont Future Newly Assured; Two Directors Win Ace Assignments. Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times. 24 January 1955, page B9.
  14. Gilbert, George (2 February 1955). "Arthur Lubin's Credo on Directing". Variety. p. 22.
  15. Davis, Roland L. (2005). Just Making Movies: Company Directors on the Studio System. University of Press Mississippi. p. 184.
  16. Gene Blottner, Columbia Noir. McFarland, 2015, p. 82.
  17. "British Dialects". Variety. 20 July 1955. p. 3,11.
  18. Vagg, Stephen (14 September 2019). "The Cinema of Arthur Lubin". Diabolique Magazine.

See also

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