Carol wins the lottery, but unfortunately her sudden wealth leads to a disagreement with her fiancé Ronald, and the two break up. Carol quickly falls in love with the romantic and mysterious Gerald, and marries him despite the warnings of her friends. It is not long before Carol begins to see that Gerald is disturbed and perhaps even dangerous, and she soon realizes that she is in great peril. Written by
All right, it creaks a bit, now, and suffers from the staginess which afflicted many if not most British films of this period, but the Agatha Christie plot (with a strong family resemblance to that other hyper-theatrical melodrama, "Gaslight") is gripping, and the necessary claustrophobic atmosphere is established and maintained -- with help from the excellent score from a very youthful Benjamin Britten (I have, by the way, never come across a reference to this early effort in any Britten biography; it is unmentioned in the long article in Grove's Dictionary). Most of all, it's worth seeing for the terrifying performance by Basil Rathbone, which again reminds us what an accomplished and versatile actor was all-but obliterated in his later absorption into Sherlock Holmes. No goalie-mask, no retractile steel claws, no camera-tricks, he scares the pants off you using only an actor's equipment, and you'll never forget his portrayal of a psychotic, obsessive Bluebeard.
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