While far from being one of Ray's finest films - he himself was decidedly unhappy with the basic material - this is still a highly watchable bitchy melodrama. Fontaine is admirably cast as the deceitful, ambitous go-getter dying to get her claws into a rich husband and playing off various suitors against one another; her customary 'nice' image is undermined throughout, exposing the wiles that may underlie traditional 'feminine innocence', and at the same time revealing that men gullible enough to believe in such sweetly simpering pleasantry deserve what they get. A pretty predictable story, in fact, but directed by Ray with great attention to emotional states and telling camera compositions (all those staircases!).
Cast and crew
Edith Sommer, Charles Schnee