Not even Sirk's intelligence and stylish visuals can save this adaptation of Chekhov's short story The Shooting Party from collapsing into compromised mainstream ordinariness. The action takes place in Russia in 1912, and Darnell turns in an excellent performance as the peasant girl whose passionate affair with a provincial judge (Sanders) escalates into tragedy. The black-and-white photography by Archie Stout lends an eye-pleasing gloss to the proceedings, and the flashback device reinforces the sense of the inexorability of the characters' fates. Ultimately, though, the mismatch between European culture and Hollywood screen romanticism is just too incongruous.
Cast and crew
Edward Everett Horton