This is one of about three dozen British films picked up by CBS in 1949 for television presentation. Its initial telecasts as part of this series took place in Los Angeles Saturday 16 July 1949 on KTTV (Channel 11) and in New York City Saturday 26 November 1949 on WCBS (Channel 2). Previously released in the USA by Grand National Pictures in a severely edited version, this shorter version had been telecast Friday 7 June 1946 by WNBT (Channel 4). See more »
At the opening of the film, in the Ireland sequence, the time is established by a curfew notice dated February 1921. The bullet retrieved from the scene of the shooting then is found preserved years later with a note indicating such, but is dated "12/11/21", nearly a year off. See more »
This new DVD was in a bargain bin for 50 cents, and is likely only available (in a poor transfer with bad sound) because it provides an vehicle for a very young James Mason. It has the feel of a movie that would have been given to promising young director, along with a trifling budget and an unrealistic shooting schedule. Props seem to have been borrowed from earlier films, much of it is shot on the back lot, and most was probably the first take. The script was a bit too bookish and wasn't revised as needed; consequently the plot turns heavily on some rather minor points that are not given the necessary emphasis, result being that it takes close attention to figure out that the plot actually does make sense and the story is, in principle, quite promising, although weak direction and acting beat it down, with the editor delivering the coup de grace. Yet in these many flaws lies the film's strength: you can see all of the ways in which this is an amateurish production, and in so doing, you can see what they should have done to get it right. In other words, this film tells you a lot about how to make pictures right by showing you how to make them wrong. It shows you a journeyman's picture out of the heyday of the studio era, and in that sense is historically interesting; and finally, if you see the struggles of cast and crew objectively, you can sympathize with them; they started off with a decent script and good intentions, but were defeated by inexperience, limited resources and too little time. Thus this film works, accidentally, as a movie about making movies.
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