Having toiled industriously on nonsense for years, B-movie king Lewis was at last given a chance, by Columbia's Harry Cohn, with a slightly higher budget and infinitely more malleable material. Taking a job as secretary to Whitty, Foch soon finds herself in deadly peril: drugged and removed to a remote Cornish manse, she awakes to discover that she has been given another woman's name, not to mention a husband in the shape of Whitty's psychotic son Macready. So far, so bad, but things worsen when she hears her incarcerators plotting her demise as a fake suicide. Handling the various plot twists with ease and eliciting superior performances from his three leads, Lewis repeatedly displays his ability to convey mood and meaning through visuals: Burnett Guffey's camera prowls nervously through shadowy interiors, Macready's madness is vividly evoked by his endless knife-playing. A small, dark gem in the Rebecca tradition, it may not be as startlingly original or adventurous as Lewis's later Gun Crazy or The Big Combo, but it knocks Penn's remake Dead of Winter, for six. (From Anthony Gilbert's novel The Woman in Red.
Cast and crew
|Director:||Joseph H Lewis|
|Screenwriter:||Muriel Roy Bolton|
Dame May Whitty