18 November 2003 | lora64
Highly charged drama of Innocence Condemned unjustly
One needs to enter into the atmosphere of this taut emotional story to really appreciate the fine acting done by all. Have seen "Thunder on the Hill" countless times and it's still riveting. The dialogue unfolds splendidly like a fine dramatic stage play of intrigue and mystery.
Claudette Colbert gives a fine performance as Sister Mary who is haunted by certain memories of her past and yet feels compelled to do what is right according to her conscience even though it conflicts with those in authority especially Mother Superior (Gladys Cooper).
Ann Blyth as Valerie really does make one feel that life is very precious - no one wants to die when there's so much to live for especially when young, very much in love and with plans to marry being dashed by this unjust verdict of guilty which will destroy everything.
Philip Friend as Sidney, Valerie's intended, is distraught with despair but eventually comes round and being convinced of her innocence tries to help in some way, offering Valerie his love and support in their emotionally charged scenes together.
Michael Pate as simple-minded Willie does add texture to the story of intrigue in the beginning - he holds an important letter - his voice and minor dialogue reveal a well-acted character role.
Robert Douglas as the doctor is suave and believable (well-oiled you might say) and he cares for his wife's delicate mental condition to the extent of becoming very possessive and controlling which becomes his downfall eventually.
It's a strong story of deep human conflict that everyone can relate to. One of my favourites.