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George Radcliffe's testimony sends Donald Heath to prison for murder and the theft of over 60,000 pounds. Soon after, Radcliffe invests a large sum of money in an ultimately profitable business venture. Martha Radcliffe begins to suspect her husband of the crime.Written by
Greg Helton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Deborah Kerr is torn asunder by her increasingly agonizing suspicion of her husband Gary Cooper as a murderer.
In Gary Cooper's last performance you can see that he is almost washed up, acting like an old age Roark (from 'The Fountainhead') stiffer than ever with very little stamina left, while fortunately Deborah Kerr makes up for it completely in her superb rendering of a married lady who just can't make things add up, wavering between an increasing suspicion of her husband's possibly having committed an heinous murder while at the same time refusing to believe it could be true. Another asset is Peter Cushing's brilliant acting as the prosecutor. The film begins with the murder trial with Gary Cooper sweating from the beginning, he himself can't make things quite fit while he is perfectly convinced that he couldn't be wrong, while the triumph of the film is the very clever story. By the accumulating inconsistencies a suspense is mercilessly built up and increased all the way to the bitter end in a virtuoso thriller more like Hitchcock than any Hitchcock. The real turning point though is the marvellous scene with Diane Cilento as the victim's wife, whom Deborah Kerr visits with traumatic consequences, which really triggers her suspicion and conviction that nothing in this story fits. After the climax in the end with all battles fought to the bitter end, everything falls into place however with perfect logic. This is a marvel of a thriller, and not even Hitchcock could have made it more exasperating in its irrevocably constantly increasing unbearable suspense. This is Michael Anderson's best film, and you regret that he didn't make more films like this one.
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