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A prominent neurosurgeon relates to his students in medical school a story about an affair he had with a married woman and how, after the affair was over, the woman one day fell out a window and died. The surgeon, suspecting that she was murdered, set out to find her killer--but, instead of turning the suspect over to the police, he planned to take his own revenge on the murderer. Written by
James Mason in one of his last British films before accepting that contract with MGM and leaving for America plays a doctor who may have become too detached from life. A prominent brain surgeon he accepts the case of young Ann Stephens whose eyesight he saves with a delicate operation. In the process he falls in love with Ann's mother Rosamund John.
Both Mason and John are separated from their respective spouses and we never meet either of them in The Upturned Glass. But their relationship contains a mixture of guilt for both of them. Shortly after they end things, Mason hears that John falls to her death in her own home.
Mason had already met Pamela Kellino and formed a bad opinion of her almost immediately. She's Rosamund's sister-in-law and Stephen's aunt and she's a selfish materialistic woman, a regular Cruela DeVille in real life. She's easy too hate and Mason courts her to get close.
The film is told about 2/3 of the way in flashback as Mason lectures to a university class on the atypical murderer, the sane and logical one which he naturally takes himself to be. The rest of the film is a revealing portrayal of how Mason should be seen.
The Upturned Glass is a nice bit of melodramatic noir with Mason really carrying this film. His perfect performance makes The Upturned Glass seem far better than it really is.
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