Woman marries her cousin, then he’s murdered.

I am trying to find a movie that is older, probably from the 1930s or 40s. It is black and white, and in English, and probably British.

To the best of my memory, this is the plot:

A young, beautiful brunette woman travels to a large manor house owned by her recently deceased uncle. She meets a man there who has a strong family resemblance to her uncle, and she assumes he is her cousin. It turns out he is not her cousin, but the man who takes care of the grounds who was raised by her uncle.

The groundskeeper is a man with pale skin, dark hair, and dark, expressive eyes. He is angry and somewhat impulsive. He is most likely her uncle’s love child. Part of the plot is this man trying to prove that he is a legitimate heir to the uncle, such as trying to find a record of a “secret marriage” between the uncle and the man’s mother. The groundskeeper falls in love with the woman.

The woman finds herself attracted to the groundskeeper, but agrees to marry her actual cousin (personally, ICK! but I know people used to do it a lot), the heir to her uncle’s estate, and now the Lord of the manor. He is kind to her and while she doesn’t feel passion for him, she respects him. He participates in aristocratic-type activities, such as fox hunting. They are married and she becomes the Lady of the manor.

Then, not too long after, some gypsies arrive at the estate and …stuff happens, maybe a thunderstorm?… and the cousin/husband is murdered! The woman sees the murderer wearing a bandana. The bandana is similar to one that the groundskeeper wears. There may be some sort of a misunderstanding, where the groundskeeper felt the woman wanted her husband dead, but I can’t say that for sure. She does truly mourn him, though.

The groundkeeper is accused of the murder and put on trial. The woman testifies about the bandanas. I think she’s not sure if the groundskeeper killed her husband or if the gypsies did, but she feels very sad and guilty for being attracted to the groundskeeper. It is revealed she is pregnant, because she is allowed to sit while testifying (instead of standing on the witness platform) because of her “delicate condition. “

I don’t know how the movie ends or who any of the actors were. I thought the man playing the cousin/husband was Leslie Howard, but I’ve been through his movies and didn’t find anything that resembled this. No offense to Mr. Howard or his fans, but he was kind of a generic looking actor for the time, and I could easily be mistaking him for someone else. Any suggestions are welcome.

6 thoughts on “Woman marries her cousin, then he’s murdered.

  1. Oh, excuse me, the husband was Michael Gough. He doesn’t look like Leslie Howard either, but I guess his low key acting style was similar until he started playing bad guys in the sixties.

  2. Thank you, will. I think “Blanche Fury” matches at least some of my memories of this movie. It is certainly closer to anything else I’ve ever been able to find! I think it’s a solve!
    You’re right that it strays from my memories, so I think I might be getting this movie mixed up with at least one other one. It’s strange how that happens–I firmly remember it in black and white, and I know I was watching it on a color television–so that must just be something I invented out of my head.
    Thanks for your help!

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