Blu-Ray Review: Footsteps in the Fog

Around the period either side of the Second World War, the environmental conditions in London proved conducive to a rather niche kind of film drama. The combination of severe pollution and adverse weather conditions periodically resulted in a dense fog which cast its pall over the capital. This culminated in the Great Smog of 1962 which lasted for five days and led to the introduction of the Clean Air Acts in 1954. London’s ‘pea-soupers’ provided a suitably mysterious atmospheric backdrop for ‘gaslight melodramas’. Footsteps in the Fog was one of the last.

Stephen Lowry (Stewart Granger) is distinctly pleased with himself after getting away with poisoning his wife. Whilst his friends, including the rather infatuated Belinda (Elizabeth Travers), rally round to console him, his maid (Jean Simmons) is not so sympathetic. After finding the bottle of poison, she begins to insert herself into his life through blackmail and threats. As she steadily begins to replace his wife, all may not be quite as it seems.

Footsteps in the Fog is a dark psychological drama which makes full use of the atmospheric locations, including the old house which is a character in itself. Director Arthur Lubin ensures there’s tension throughout, whilst Simmons and Granger (who were married in real life) engage in a deadly game of cat and mouse. It’s a fascinating period piece. Footsteps in the Fog is a melodrama with a dangerous edge.

Indicator Limited Edition Special Features:

• High Definition remaster
• Original mono audio
• The Guardian Interview with Stewart Granger (1990): archival audio recording of a spellbinding one-man show in which the great Hollywood star discusses his career at London’s National Film Theatre
• Belinda, Goddess of Devon (2018, 27 mins): a new appreciation of tragic star Belinda Lee by Steve Chibnall, author of British Horror Cinema
• Something in the Air (2018, 27 mins): film expert and BFI curator Josephine Botting explores cinema’s fascination with post-Victorian England
• Gothic Imprints (2018, 17 mins): Diabolique magazine’s editor-in-chief Kat Ellinger explores the film’s Gothic origins
• Original theatrical trailer
• Image gallery: on-set and promotional photography
• New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Limited Edition exclusive booklet containing a newly commissioned essay by professor Steve Chibnall, archival interviews, historic articles, an overview of contemporary critical responses and full film credits
• World premiere on Blu-ray
• Limited Edition of 3,000 copies

Footsteps in the Fog is released on Blu-ray by Powerhouse Films as part of their Indicator Series on 30 July.

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