Set in the mid 18th century on the coast of Dorset in Great Britain, a young boy (Jon Whiteley) arrives in search of a protector (Stewart Granger) that his deceased mother has entrusted him to. While quite the elegant gentleman on the surface, it's just a cover for the protector's smuggling activities and he has ambivalent feelings about the boy's arrival. Based on a novel by J. Meade Falkner, the film has the feel of a Robert Louis Stevenson boys' adventure like KIDNAPPED or TREASURE ISLAND. It's an old fashioned but modestly enjoyable effort from the great Fritz Lang, who hated shooting it in the CinemaScope process (it's his only true wide screen film) which necessitated his famous remark regarding the format that "it wasn't meant for human beings. Just snakes and funerals". Nonetheless, cinematographer Robert Planck's wide screen lensing is quite effective despite obviously being shot on soundstages rather than authentic English coast locations. The film suffers from a deadly performance by young master Whiteley who can't even seem to smile naturally. There's a marvelously atmospheric score by Miklos Rozsa. With George Sanders, Viveca Lindfors, Joan Greenwood, Liliane Montevecchi, Melville Cooper, Sean McClory, Alan Napier, John Hoyt, Jack Elam, Frank Feguson, Donna Corcoran, Ian Wolfe and Peggy Maley.
The Warners DVD via The Netherlands is a gorgeous anamorphic wide screen (2.35) transfer in English and French with optional subtitles.