1 April 2019 | boblipton
Would-Be Hitchcockian Thriller
Mona Freeman comes home for her father's funeral in England -- her American accent explained by four years in college in California -- to find ice-cold Jean Kent her new stepmother. Jean purports to want to be chums, but Mona comes to the conclusion that Kiss Kent had killed her father, and her mother earlier, and now intends to kill her, the principal heir of her father's estate.
Hitchcockian? Yes, indeed it is. Like NORTH BY NORTHWEST, it's filled with bits and bobs of oft-used Hitchcockian plot points. Miss Kent with her Mrs. Danvers coldness from REBECCA; the near-accident of the car going off the road, and the glass of milk from SUSPICION, the evil lurking in a nice market town, the blonde heroine... Choose your own tropes. they all reek of Hitchcock. Even the title is Hitchcockian.
However, director Albert Rogell never was Hitchcock, and the only suspense is supplied Miss Kent's veneer, which the audience sees through immediately. It was his last movie as director. Neither does the shooting script permit cinematographer Jack Asher much in the way of the dazzling camerawork that Hitchcock used, beyond some tracking shots; even the murder attempts are shot conventionally. The result is a watchable thriller that does not extend the art of cinema, as Hitchcock so often did, nor the imagination of the audience.