• A failed actress returns to the family, the lover and the small town she abandoned years earlier and sets tongues wagging anew. Does it rank up there with ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS or IMITATION OF LIFE? No, not really. It all wraps up too neatly (the "happy" ending was forced by the producer), Lyle Bettger has the charisma of a toilet brush (why would Barbara Stanwyck ever fall for this lummox?) and it's pointlessly set in the early part of the century. The only rationale I can think of for the latter is that Stanwyck's lack of success would be harder to keep a secret in modern times, but it takes the edge off and makes the whole thing a bit too quaint. However, it's not really a dud, either. It's a tight script, Stanwyck is riveting as always, and Sirk's eye for brilliant framing is hard at work. It makes for a quick, easy watch with some slight subversiveness in its commentary on small town gossip and hypocrisy.