The "valley of hell" is a stone quarry in rural France and when its boss marries the wayward daughter of his deceased best friend, she sets about tearing his family asunder. The tale's an old chestnut that's been done many times before and since (THE SQUALL '29, GUEST IN THE HOUSE '44, LURE OF THE SILA, SUSANA '51, LOUISIANA HUSSY '59) but in Nazi-occupied France it must have resonated as a double-edged sword for while the film can be seen as a paean to Pétain's ideology of "Work, Family, Country", Maurice Tourneur's provincial melodrama can also be claimed by the Resistance as a metaphor for "fighting fire with fire" when a destructive interloper threatens home and hearth. Highly recommended.
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