A modest James Hilton tale (mild mannered husband, domineering wife, sweet other woman) is subtly invested with more potent themes and a darker than expected edge in the excellent hands of Edmund Goulding. Muni, the De Niro of his day, gives a superb, meticulous performance as an unexceptional Englishman under exceptional duress: in love with the governess (Bryan), he finds himself accused of murdering his wife (Robson). It was his favourite film role, and you can see why. The film is set in a sufficiently credible backlot England, immediately prior to the First World War. Its sympathetic portrait of an Austrian abroad (the Bryan character) was thought to have put paid to its box-office chances just before WWII, though in any case Jack Warner considered it too long 'for this kind of suffering picture'. He was mistaken; a thoughtful and engrossing melodrama, it's no masterpiece but it was underrated.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Milton Krims, James Hilton|