A movie I discovered in the 80's and which I saw numerous times on VHS then. Flamboyant melodrama or Film Noir in colour, the question is still open. Among a lot of superb scenes, the first meeting between Tierney and Wilde in the train deserves a prominent place in Movie history. Anyway, with John Brahm and John Cromwell, John M. Stahl is one of the three Hollywood Johns waiting for recognition. Masterpiece.
This may be seen as a blasphemy but I just don't get the love for this film. It's certainly gorgeous to look at but the story and characters are so bland and silly that those 2 hours felt like an eternity. I heard so many great things about Tierney's performance in this film and even though she was a stunner her acting left me wanting more. A bummer for sure.
ahead of its time in many regards; i'm struck by how i sympathize with ellen. she most likely suffers from BPD, and it's wrenching that her doctor and family instead of attempting to understand her impulses victimize and simplify her into an insane, hysterical housewife, letting her spiral to her demise.
While aspects of melodrama are constantly reinforced, it is the moments where Stahl avoids music and down-plays reaction shots that he finds the genre's best effect. Tierney's misogynistically-depicted hysterics are large, but allow for the noticeable juxtaposition of the moments of her calm and stillness, which strike the most concerning fear. Only the moment of Wilde's cold reaction to her confessions reciprocate.