Woman of Straw

Woman of Straw is a 1964 British crime thriller directed by Basil Dearden and starring Gina Lollobrigida and Sean Connery.[1] It was written by Robert Muller and Stanley Mann, adapted from the 1954 novel La Femme de paille by Catherine Arley.[2]

Woman of Straw
Original film poster
Directed byBasil Dearden
Produced byMichael Relph
Written byRobert Muller
Stanley Mann
Based onnovel La Femme de Paille by Catherine Arley
StarringGina Lollobrigida
Sean Connery
Ralph Richardson
Music byNorman Percival
CinematographyOtto Heller
Edited byJohn D. Guthridge
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
Running time
122 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


Connery's character Anthony Richmond schemes to get the fortune of his tyrannical, wheelchair-using tycoon uncle Charles Richmond (Richardson) by persuading Maria, a nurse he employs (Lollobrigida), to marry him. After his uncle's demise Maria becomes a murder suspect. Lollobrigida's character is the Woman of Straw of the title.



The film was shot at Pinewood Studios, Audley End House in Saffron Walden, Essex and in Majorca in the Balearic Islands between August and October 1963.[3][3] The Majorca footage, including much footage in a boat off the coast, was shot on location in September 1963. Gina Lollobrigida was reportedly "demanding and temperamental" during the filming, frequently clashing with Connery and Dearden.[3]

Critical reception

In a contemporary review in The New York Times, Eugene Archer wrote, "what could be more archaic than the sight of James Bond himself, Sean Connery, stalking glumly through the very type of old-fashioned thriller he usually mocks? That is exactly what we have in "Woman of Straw," and you can be certain that Mr. Connery did not look one bit more unhappy than yesterday's audience at the Criterion, where the hapless British film crept into town. For, despite the fancy trappings laid on by the respected old producer-director team of Michael Relph and Basil Dearden, this handsomely colored exercise is the kind of pseudo-Victorian nonsense that Alfred Hitchcock long ago laid to rest";[4] while more recently, Steve Lewis in Mystery File noted, "Most of professional reviews have been negative (Variety and so on), but with one tiny qualification on my part, in my opinion most of the professional reviews are wrong. If you are a fan of detective fiction and if you ever come across a copy of this movie, by all means, don't hesitate. Snap it up at once."[5]


  1. "Woman of Straw (1964)".
  2. Goble, Alan (1 January 1999). "The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film". Walter de Gruyter via Google Books.
  3. Burton, Alan; O'Sullivan, Tim (2009). The Cinema of Basil Dearden and Michael Relph. Edinburgh University Press. p. 290. ISBN 978-0-7486-3289-3.
  4. https://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9D07E3D8113BE13ABC4953DFB667838F679EDE
  5. "» Movie Review – WOMAN OF STRAW (1964)". mysteryfile.com.
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