8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A dismal film desperately in need of Hitchcock,
This review is from: Glorious 39 [DVD] (DVD)
I stumbled across this thing on the "New British Shelf" at my nearby video rental shop. I read the back-cover blurb, saw the familiar names of the cast members, got a whiff of the general subject matter and said to myself, "Ah, just the thing!"
I could not have been more wrong. What I found was a typically Hitchcockian story of charming, upper-class villainy directed by a man who clearly didn't have a clue as to what he was about and a cast of high-powered actors, all of whom were sleepwalking.
Other reviewers have accurately pointed out the lack of internal consistency and logic. The same charges can equally be laid against Hitchcock's works--but Hitchcock was a master of filmic magic and misdirection. This film's Poliakoff absolutely is not. Hitchcock, in storyboarding this film, would have used more than a few closeups to focus the drama directly on the heroine in what is at bottom a damsel-in-distress plot. Poliakoff, on the other hand dotes on medium- and long-shots to inundate us in pretty views of candy-box-sweet landscapes. Hitchcock would have realized that the screenplay was full of pointless bloat and cut the running time by a good fifty percent. Poliakoff clearly doesn't appreciate that little problem. And finally, Hitchcock would have provided the film with a real ending rather than the dull thud we get here, which improbably manages to be simutaneously ultra-whispy and a kick in the viewer's teeth.
There is just one reason to See this film: to hone your appreciation of Hitchcock's art.
One grudgingly-given star.