This psychodrama takes place in a hotel, and the feel of the film is dominated by the sense of both distance and closeness between things happening in different parts of it. Bancroft is the singer in the hotel bar, who breaks up with Widmark's airline pilot because he doesn't have 'an understanding heart'. Encountering the mentally disturbed Monroe babysitting in a guest's bedroom, Widmark goes through rapid (!) personal growth (he cares), which makes him ultimately worthy of his girlfriend. The plot is so simple that psychological interest is needed to sustain it, and this would require stronger performances than those Widmark and Monroe give. The film's most powerful effect is the play-off between sound and image in hotel geography (Monroe and Widmark speak on the phone across a courtyard; Bancroft's singing is switched on via internal radio, in counterpoint with visual cuts to the bar), which provides a coherence lacking in the emotional drama.
Cast and crew
Elisha Cook Jr