Despite the skimpy story and makeshift construction - the Alpine location stuff was shot by Carol Reed without the cast - this adaptation of Dodie Smith's first play emerges as a rich evocation of the hopes and dreams of the '30s. Meandering between farce, fairytale and doomed romance, the film gently explores the Cinderella story of an ageing schoolmistress who discovers her Prince is a happily married man. Compton, emanating an intensely wistful beauty, progresses convincingly from virginal exuberance to a sad knowlege that fantasy is best left as fantasy. The presence of slyly camp Novello, looking like an overgrown boy scout in his Tyrolean lederhosen, and an array of grubbily eccentric character actors (Hawkins unrecognisable as a sex-obsessed psychiatrist) obviates the danger of maudlin sentimentality.
Cast and crew