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Gone to Earth (1950)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Shropshire, 1897. In the home she shares with her father, country girl Hazel Woodus reads a spell book she inherited from her gypsy mother. Her father, who disapproves of superstition, grabs the book from her. In the struggle Hazel's dress is torn. The following day, Hazel travels into town to buy a new dress. She visits her cousin Albert and Aunt Prowde. Albert invites her to stay the night, but Prowde disapproves and sends her home.

On the way home, Hazel is knocked over by a horse and cart belonging to Jack Reddin, a local landowner. He asks Hazel back to his house for dinner. At his house, Reddin forces himself upon Hazel, but she runs away to the stable where Vessons - Reddin's servant - gives her his bed for the night. The following morning Vessons takes Hazel home and promises not to tell Reddin where she lives.

On the way to the church fete, where Hazel is to sing accompanied by her father's harp playing, Hazel and her father stumble across a deep, uncovered well. After performing at the fete, the local minister Edward Marston invites Hazel for supper with him and his mother the following Sunday. Later at home, her father tells Hazel that she should be married. Hazel promises to marry the first man who asks her. Jack Reddin rides through the countryside in search of Hazel but cannot find her.

The following Sunday at Edward's house, Hazel clashes with Edward's mother over Hazel's pet, a fox. While taking Hazel home, Edward asks her to marry him and she accepts. The date is set for August, after the County Fair.

At the fair, Reddin finds Hazel and insists that she marry him. He offers Hazel's father 50 pounds for his daughter. Hazel refuses as she has already promised to marry Edward. Hazel and Edward are married and on the night of their wedding, Hazel sees Reddin lurking outside her window. Edward and Hazel sleep in separate rooms.

Edward baptizes Hazel and after the ceremony Reddin arrives at Edward's house asking to speak with Edward. While they wait for Edward, Hazel and Reddin are left alone. They kiss and Reddin asks Hazel to meet him the following Sunday.

That night, Hazel is reading her mother's spell book. Edward asks Hazel if she is happy. She says she is and goes to kiss Edward, but he pulls away. Hazel is unsure if she should meet Reddin and - in accordance with the spell book - she goes to the top of the mountain to seek advice. She asks that she might hear fairy music if she should meet Reddin. At the foot of the mountain, Hazel's father is playing his harp. Hazel mistakes this for fairy music and decides that she will meet Reddin.

The following Sunday Hazel and Reddin meet. They kiss and Reddin takes Hazel back to his house. Later, a note arrives at Edward's house from Hazel saying she is safe and asking him to look after her fox. The following day, Edward discovers that Hazel is staying with Reddin. Edward goes to Reddin's house, they row and Hazel decides to go back with Edward. When they arrive home, Edward's mother asks Edward to choose between her and Hazel. Edward chooses Hazel, his mother leaves.

The following morning, a group of chapel elders inform Edward that they don't want him as minister if Hazel stays. Meanwhile, the local hunt, which includes Reddin, are chasing Hazel's fox. Hazel attempts to rescue the fox by picking it up but the hunt's dogs continue to pursue them. Edward rushes to save Hazel from the dogs only to see her fall into the uncovered well.