In 17th century Hanover, a young girl (Joan Greenwood) is betrothed against her will to the uncouth and cruel Prince George Louis (Peter Bull), who is in line to inherit the throne of England. When a countess (Flora Robson) who wields behind the scenes power in court circles brings her latest consort, a Swedish Count (Stewart Granger), to the court, there is an immediate chemistry between the Princess and the dashing Swede. However, this passion will lead to tragedy for all involved. Based on the historical romance novel by Helen Simpson, this is a lush rich looking Technicolor film (the first for Ealing studios) whose art and set direction earned an Oscar nomination. There are enough court intrigues and political manipulations to keep one interested in the proceedings but as a romance, it's more fizzle than sizzle. The lovely Greenwood was always better at playing vixens rather than wan damsels and Granger is at his dullest. The best performance is delivered by Flora Robson, looking more glamorous than usual, as the plain and aging countess whose revenge destroys even herself. Directed by Basil Dearden. Douglas Slocombe (THE LION IN WINTER) did the Technicolor cinematography and the strong score by Alan Rawsthorne. With Francoise Rosay, Anthony Quayle, Michael Gough and Megs Jenkins.
The Optimum DVD is a nice looking if slightly faded transfer which doesn't quite illustrate the film's original Technicolor hues.