Lady Possessed

Lady Possessed is a 1952 film noir mystery film directed by William Spier and Roy Kellino starring James Mason and June Havoc.[1] Mason and his wife Pamela produced and wrote the film themselves, based on Pamela's novel Del Palma, (originally published as A Lady Possessed in Britain, 1943).[2][3] They chose Pamela's ex-husband Roy Kellino, with whom she remained close, to direct the film. It was a critical and commercial failure, losing the Masons much of the money they had invested in it.[4]

Lady Possessed
Directed byWilliam Spier
Roy Kellino
Produced byRoy Kellino
James Mason
Screenplay byPamela Mason
James Mason
Based onthe novel Del Palma by Pamela Mason
StarringJames Mason
June Havoc
Music byNathan Scott
CinematographyKarl Struss
Edited byArthur Roberts
Portland Pictures
Distributed byRepublic Pictures
Release date
  • January 26, 1952 (1952-01-26) (United States)
Running time
87 minutes
CountryUnited States

The film's sets were designed by the art director Frank Arrigo.[2]


While barely conscious, Jean Wilson (June Havoc), a patient in a London hospital, overhears Jimmy Del Palma (James Mason) berating hospital staff for their treatment of his wife, who then dies shortly afterwards. To recuperate following a miscarriage, Jean coincidentally rents the former country home of Del Palma, a famous pianist, and his wife. She starts to fall in love with the absent musician and dreams of taking his dead wife's place, even of being taken over and possessed by her. With the encouragement of her friend Sybil (Pamela Mason), Jean arranges a seance with a medium in an attempt to contact the dead woman.


Critical reception

Bosley Crowther in The New York Times called it "a bleak little drama of neuroses," concluding, "And since Miss Kellino and Mr. Mason take credit for writing the script, the much celebrated English couple have only themselves to blame. That goes double for Mr. Mason, who also produced the film";[5] TV Guide wrote, "Neither the performances nor the narrow direction are able to help save this confusing script."[6] and Classic Film Freak wrote, "Lady Possessed is a film that’s hard to find and will most likely stay that way as there isn’t much to recommend it outside of James Mason’s performance, though even that gets overwhelmed by a disjointed plot."[7]



  • Sweeney, Kevin. James Mason: A Bio-bibliography. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999.
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