21 May 2007 | Panamint
Good Psychological Melodrama
If you like melodrama, check this one out. It is well-made and is acted with sincerity by some fine British actors who achieve great dramatic effect.
Piano music is secondary to the story and only small snippets of music are played. You will barely notice the piano because this movie is overwhelmingly a psychological drama. So much so that the psychiatrist is given almost super-human insight and ability. This is not a negative because it is not crackpot or over the top.
James Mason is outstanding and very believable in a cerebral, complex role. Think of the best James Mason performance you ever saw. This equals it, I guarantee. Ann Todd is solid and believable, although somewhat coldly distant from the audience, but that was her style. She stays in character and keeps it interesting.
Herbert Lom must have made a zillion movies, many obscure or trifling. However, this film proves that he was a first-rate actor. His performance here as the psychiatrist is very straight, serious and effective. You won't believe it is the same actor who was in those "Pink Panther" movies.
Note how the cave-like home of the artist ("Leyden") appears claustrophobic in comparison to the spacious comfort of the main mansion set. This, and the deliberate posing of Todd to look uncomfortable in Leyden's home are subtle examples of the high standard of care and planning that must have gone into this production.
This is high-caliber melodrama, not overdone but just interesting and effective.