According to Alexander Walker in 'Sex in the Movies', Marlene Dietrich turned down the film "on the grounds that she could never be convincing as a woman who tries to gas herself because she cannot keep her lover or find other men." See more »
Terrence Rattigan's play was a popular success in London, tho not in the NY production that starred Margaret Sullavan. There were two revivals last year, one in London and one in NY, starring Blythe Danner. Although the movie is boxy and stagebound, it does preserve one of Rattigan's most entrancing creations, Hester Collyer (Vivien Leigh), a woman all at once rabid with latent sexual desire and without remorse or ounce of self-pity for her choices. The performance more than meets the requirement that Hester should never be viewed as either sordid or immoral. Listen, this is the early 50s.
Rattigan's closest American playwright kin was William Inge. Like Inge, he favored characters tormented with issues out of sexual repression and the price they paid for what society, then, viewed as their *sins.* Like Inge, Rattigan was homosexual and often used his characters to illuminate his own dark closet. A video transfer is desperately needed.
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