31 March 2008 | dash-24
Shirley Jones deserved better
Turner Classic Movies is broadcasting this bizarrely loopy international production as "Dark Purpose." It is full of secret passages, loonies in the attic, marital deceptions, fits of hysteria and mysterious deaths -- plus some slavering dogs. The TCM print is gorgeous-looking, but, alas, the soundtrack is horrendous, rendering a good half of the film unintelligible. Wonderful locales and interiors, but abysmally ham-fisted direction by George Marshall and Vittorio Sala. Doris Hume Kilburn wrote the novel that has lifted elements of women in domestic peril from most of the genre from "Jane Eyre" through "Midnight Lace." A very nice performance by Shirley Jones is sadly undone by an over-the-top George Sanders, a poorly scripted Giorgia Moll and a lazy Rossano Brazzi.