23 March 2009 | christopher-underwood
performances are central to the film's success
The film contains noirish elements rather actually being of the genre but it is still a most beautifully photographed b/w movie. Some Ophuls trademark shooting, particularly with regard to the wonderfully shot staircase sequences and the dance club scenes where the camera seems to glide with a life its own. Great performances are central to the film's success because we do get close to melodrama and the horrific portrayal by Robert Ryan as the ruthless, almost psychotic millionaire and the highly effective playing by Barbara Bel Geddes, keep this morality tale from becoming too sentimental. James Mason does well enough as the barely believable doctor with a heart of gold and other bit parts all help hold this raging beast together.