This film comes close to being something truly great. It is beautifully photographed and acted (particularly the work of Lee Remick), and the theme, not confronted head on, of child abandonment/abuse, which plays under the images, is quite powerfully evoked. The film's shortcomings are mainly mechanical: some rough transitions in the story-telling; the unsatisfactory attempts by Steve McQueen at miming to a too-professional singing voice; and the omission from the scenario of one or two more direct references to the childhood from which McQueen's dysfunctional character has emerged. Certainly, the loving inactions between Remick's character and her screen daughter, Margaret Rose, are completely convincing and form a strong counterpoint to her husband's damaged personality. But we are not sure where we should be focusing: on their relationship, on the wife and husband relationship, or on his relationship with his adoptive mother (who appears only briefly, but is the unspoken menace). Of course, this difficulty is very much part of what the film is about; however, the various relationships sit so apart from each other, the tragic impact of the one on the others is somewhat lost. I suppose it is a testament to the delicacy and understated-ness of Robert Mulligan's directorial touch (seen to greater effect in 'To Kill a Mockingbird') that this sort of reaction is called up at all. One feels this film has so much that is good, the potential is there... A reflection of its time, perhaps: while it was being made, news broke of a shooting in Dallas and the death of a young president.