Considering the talent, not much is engaged and we're left with just motions. And while its a nice change, it seems like a bit of a stretch for the then-33y/o Joan Fontaine to play a young schemy female. But it isn't a total disaster, its watchable and quite entertaining.
Nicholas Ray directed this mostly compelling melodrama. It's hokey and over the top at times, with its quirky one-liners and swelling music score - but there are some strong old-fashioned performances and an engrossing story and characters. Unfortunately, it does loose steam in the last act which makes it drag on a bit too long. Entertaining, but not quite memorable enough to be a classic.