20 November 2014 | wilvram
The Dull and the Dreary
Made when it was becoming fashionable for British films to include a leading continental actress, as well as the more usual fading American star, this was also able to take advantage of the BBFC's more relaxed approach to the depiction of sexual relations in the wake of the previous year's ROOM AT THE TOP. Supposedly: "The most daring Drama of Sex and Passion ever filmed" or so it was claimed at the time, it must also be one of the dullest.
It's a ploddingly told tale of an archaeologist having second thoughts on his proposed marriage to the niece of a Press baron and embarking on a passionate affair with a beautiful but damaged German woman, able to offer sex but not emotional commitment following her harrowing rape as a teenager. There is much pointless conversation and scenes that go nowhere, such as the fanciful plan to locate the Ark. Halfway through, William Bendix turns up to add some welcome colour, but he's given too little to do. Tony Britton plays the poorly-written role of the archaeologist as well as anyone could but Nadja Tiller can't do much with the difficult part of the enigmatic Ila. Donald Wolfit is fun as the owner of a scandal sheet, full of the self-serving pompous humbug about his "duty" to expose others' private lives, that typifies such types. Most of the characters though are as artificial as the plot.