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Under Capricorn (1949)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 8 October 1949 (USA)
A young gentleman goes to Australia where he reunites with his now married childhood sweetheart, only to find out she has become an alcoholic and harbors dark secrets.


Alfred Hitchcock


John Colton (play), Margaret Linden (play) | 3 more credits »

On Disc

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1 win. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Ingrid Bergman ... Lady Henrietta Flusky
Joseph Cotten ... Sam Flusky
Michael Wilding ... Hon. Charles Adare
Margaret Leighton ... Milly
Cecil Parker ... The Governor
Denis O'Dea ... Mr. Corrigan
Jack Watling ... Winter
Harcourt Williams ... The Coachman
John Ruddock John Ruddock ... Mr. Potter
Bill Shine ... Mr. Banks
Victor Lucas ... The Rev. Smiley
Ronald Adam ... Mr. Riggs
Francis De Wolff Francis De Wolff ... Major Wilkins (as Francis de Wolff)
G.H. Mulcaster G.H. Mulcaster ... Dr. Macallister
Olive Sloane ... Sal


In 1831, Irishman Charles Adare (Michael Wilding) travels to Australia to start a new life with the help of his cousin, who has just been appointed Governor. When he arrives, he meets powerful landowner and ex-convict Sam Flusky (Joseph Cotten), who wants to do a business deal with him. While attending a dinner party at Flusky's house, Charles meets Flusky's wife Henrietta (Ingrid Bergman), whom he had known as a child back in Ireland. Henrietta is an alcoholic, and seems to be on the verge of madness. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Ingrid Bergman Shows You The Heights And The Depths To Which A Woman Like This Can Go! See more »


Crime | Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

8 October 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sklavin des Herzens See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Transatlantic Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This movie was well noted for its deep layered themes amongst the critics in Europe. Because of this, this movie had various titles in Europe. In Italy, it was called "Il Peccato di Lady Considine" which is translated as "The Sin of Lady Considine". In Germany, it was called "Sklavin des Herzens", which was translated as "The Slave of the Heart". This is because the characters in this movie are slaves to the feelings of their hearts. Sam (Joseph Cotten) and Milly (Margaret Leighton) are driven by the feelings of their inferiority complexes. Lady Henrietta (Ingrid Bergman) is driven by the feelings of guilt and shame. Lady Henrietta feels guilty for the suffering of Sam, while feeling shameful for her alcoholism at the same time. Charles Adare (Michael Wilding) is driven by the feelings of shameful emptiness, which was revealed through his line to Lady Henrietta, "I spent most of my life warding off boredom." See more »


The opening narration declares that "In 1770 Captain Cook discovered Australia". While James Cook led one of the first British expeditions to Australia, other European explorers had visited the country before him. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: In seventeen-hundred and seventy, Captain Cook discovered Australia. Sixty years later, the city of Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, had grown on the edge of three million square miles of unknown land. The colony exported raw materials. It imported material even more raw - prisoners, many of them unjustly convicted, who were to be shaped into the pioneers of a great dominion. In eighteen-hundred and thirty-one King William the Fourth sent a new governor to rule the colony. ...
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits roll up over a map of Australia. See more »


Featured in Reputations: Hitch: Alfred the Great (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Hitchcock's overlong and emotionally intriguing costume drama about family secrets and skeletons in the cupboard
12 January 2017 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

It describes the aristocratic Irish lass Lady Henrietta Flusky (Ingrid Bergman miscasting as Irish girl)'s disastrous marriage to rakish stable-hand , an ex-inmate called Flusky (Joseph Cotten) banished Australia . When it takes place a tragic event , she follows her convict hubby out to 1830s Australia . Then , she turns to drink , becoming alcoholic , perhaps because of his neglect husband . When the governor's (Cecil Parker) nephew Hon. Charles Adare (Michael Wilding) visits them , he meets her on a bad situation , but he suspects she is being poisoned .

This is an ineffably romantic picture adapted from the Helen Simpson novel with echoes of ¨Rebecca¨ and ¨Suspicion¨ ; it packs tension , thrills , suspense , plot twists involving family skeleton and intense drama . This is an unexciting Hitch film in which Alfred even had the star of those two big Forties successes , ¨Spellbound¨ and ¨Notorious¨ , the great actress Ingrid Bergman playing with him again . The poignant romanticism that includes the suspenseful screenplay contains such surefire Alfred elements as the dominant housekeeper similarly to ¨Judith Anderson's Rebecca¨ , the skeleton in the cupboard and the confession of guilt towards the final . Here Alfred cast around in vain for another major success ; however , it was a real flop at box office . The movie , nevertheless , maintains a certain brightness , brilliance and elegance thanks to sweeping and overlong takes . Passable interpretation from the protagonist trio , such as Ingrid Bergman as the unsettling lady , Joseph Cotten as a lower-class man convicted of murder who is deported Australia where he makes fortune and Michael Wilding as an impulsive young becomes involved with the strange marriage . But Margaret Leighton took the acting honor to play the astute housekeeper . The film also displays expensive gowns , nice production design and glimmer cinematography in Technicolor by Jack Cardiff . It was remade in 1982 ¨Under Capricorn¨ an Autralian remake by Rod Hardy with Lisa Harrow , Julia Blake , Catherine Lynch .

After ¨39 steps¨ and ¨Jamaica Inn¨ Hitchcock was encouraged to go to America and promptly shot his first work in Hollywood hired by the great producer David O'Selznick , as he won Oscar to best picture for his first film there , titled ¨Rebeca¨ , being Hitchcock's first great American success in a classic story with a love story and suspense . Later , R.K.O , Radio Pictures Inc offered him the direction of ¨Suspicion¨ with Gary Grant and Joan Fontaine . Subsequently , he made ¨Notorious¨ and this slow-moving ¨Under Capricorn¨ , but , as he even admitted himself , basic mistakes were made in the preparation of the film . The motion picture is indispensable watching for Hithcock lovers , though it is definitely a lesser Alfred film as well as mite predictable , and rather verbose ; achieving a mediocre impact on his audience .

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