8 July 2007 | rsoonsa
Fine Players Keep It Ticking Over.
A well-plotted piece, this efficiently developed melodrama from a teleplay written by director Frank Burt (for its 1992 VHS reissue, without the original credits, direction was retroactively attributed to Alan Smithee) depicts a complex story of a man, Sam Weston (William Lundigan) who has been led to believe that he will receive a significant promotion by his employer, only to be denied due to machinations of his superior's wife, the eponymous Brenda Jarvis (Angela Lansbury), who is convinced that an unsavoury incident from her past will be revealed if Sam and his wife Ellen (Martha Vickers) join the social set of the Jarvises, to be expected following the promotion. Brenda, many years prior to the time of this narrative, had shared lodgings in Chicago with an unwed Ellen. During that period, she had become involved in a sordid affair with a married man. Fear that Ellen will expose her lapse leads her into the realm of paranoia, and she callously taints the mind of her husband Paul (George Brent), resulting in his cancellation of Weston's planned job advancement. Subsequent correspondence and a meeting between Brenda and Ellen furnishes an insightful climax to an ably constructed scenario. A vigorous turn comes from Lansbury while the ever smooth Brent earns the acting palm here as a husband possessed of profound understanding.