Film, Thrillers

Time Out says

The same themes and the same cool style as in Laura and Angel Face are at work in this portrait of the wealthy and sophisticated cracking apart at the seams, under pressure from psychological hang-ups, repressed passion, and innocent gullibility. When rich kleptomaniac Tierney turns for help not to her psychoanalyst husband (Conte) but to a hard-hearted hypnotherapist (Ferrer), she finds herself bereft of memory and implicated in a murder. Preminger translates the rather daft story (scripted by a pseudonymous Ben Hecht, loosely adapting Guy Endore's novel Methinks the Lady) into a typically unhysterical and lucid examination of people under stress: as the crime is investigated, currents of distrust, fear, and falsehood disturb the smooth waters of an apparently happy marriage. Content to observe rather than moralise, he creates a world of sympathetically flawed characters, the magnificent exception being the swindling quack, a manipulating charmer whose underplaying by Ferrer suggests credible evil. With its noir themes played out in cold, bright interiors, it's a fine example of the way Preminger, on occasion, managed to deflect routine melodrama into something more personal and profound.

By: GA


Release details

97 mins

Cast and crew

Otto Preminger
Andrew Solt, Ben Hecht
Gene Tierney
Richard Conte
José Ferrer
Charles Bickford
Barbara O'Neil
Eduard Franz
Fortunio Bonanova
Constance Collier
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