Here’s a great winter afternoon program, within walking distance of our Lenox B&B, Brook Farm Inn. See it on January 4, 2014.
All This, and Heaven Too at Ventfort Hall
A period drama honored with three Academy Award nominations in 1940, the film All This, and Heaven Too will be featured at Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum on Saturday, January 4, at 3:30 PM.
A Victorian tea will be served at intermission. Stockbridge Library Curator Barbara Allen will comment on novelist Rachel Field, author of the 1938 bestseller that became the film, who grew up in Stockbridge and was a member of the town’s distinguished family. Tom Hayes, a member of Ventfort Hall’s program committee, will discuss the film’s production, its stars, Bette Davis and Charles Boyer, its director, Anatole Litvak, and the supporting cast. In the cemetery at Stockbridge is a gravestone that reads “Henriette Desportes, The Beloved Wife of Henry M. Field, Died March 6, 1875.” The unusual life of Henriette, who was actually the novelist’s great aunt, inspired Rachel Field to write the novel based on family reminiscences, recollections, anecdotes and other data. It is the story of a young French woman (Bette Davis) who becomes the beloved governess to the children of the Duc (Charles Boyer) and Duchesse de Praslin (Barbara O’Neill), whose pathological jealously causes turmoil in the household. She suspects Henriette is having an affair with the Duc and rumors spread. Before long, the Duchesse is found murdered. Henriette is arrested and suspected of being an accomplice of the Duc. Certain facts revealed during the famous Praslin murder trial that actually took place in 1847 nearly destroyed the very foundations of the French monarchy. Was Henriette found guilty or was she acquitted? Where does Henry Field (Jeffrey Lynn) come into the story? According to Variety, “Henriette is one of the few impressive tragic figures in modern fiction and Bette Davis gives her beauty and plausibility,” while the National Board of Review magazine stated “Is well produced and well cast…extracting the maximum of poignant feeling from every situation…Exceptional.” Admission for the filming, commentaries and Victorian tea is $18 for advance reservations and $23 day of the event. Reservations are highly recommended as seating is limited. Call Ventfort Hall at 413-637-3206 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The historic Gilded Age mansion is located at 104 Walker Street.