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A secretive widower hires a governess for his children, a willful boy and impressionable girl. Strange occurrences and the governess's curiosity lead her to unlock the secrets of the mysterious and uninhabited brownstone next door.
A rather claustrophobic theatrical film of a vengeance masked in romance
It's seldom that Bruckner's music has been used in films, the only other instance I know of is Visconti's "Senso" 1954 three years after this one, but it certainly gives a certain mood from the start of tension and doom. Although an atrocious murder is committed from the start, you even see it being done and by whom, there is no question about it, the development seems rather innocent and harmless, as there are mainly only discussions and arguments and roundabouts to divert the attention, and even the inspectors get impatient by the fooling around. But it's worth waiting for the end. You have to learn what that mishandled lady in the introduction was all about and whatever it had to do with the atrocious murder. Although nothing seems to make any sense and add up, and does so in the end after all and with a vengeance. It's a clever thriller, Sonia Dresdel keeps the suspense up all the way by most of all her sparkling dialogue, and there is a mystery figure as well, the strangely pathetic Hewson (Michael Martin Harvey), whom everyone has some apprehension of, who maybe knows too much and isn't as mad as he seems. Finally the war also plays an important part, and that's where the trauma makes a final entrance concluding this strange play of destiny and vengeance.
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