Not a bad effort to make an artistic picture out of a book which is generally rated among the British fiction classics. At the same time, the attempt fails, and it fails because the producer, with all his soft focus photography and his studied use of excellent exterior backgrounds, failed to start off with a really first-class continuity, or else wandered away from it during production. The film has polish. But it lacks drama and grip.
Story on which the film is based tells how a famous family of rebels, the Doones, live in a Somerset valley, the terror of surrounding farms and settlements.
A boy, John Ridd, sees his father killed by the outlaws, and he grows up seeking vengeance, only to fall in love with the Doone daughter, Lorna. He takes her out of the valley and brings her back to his farmhouse. The Doones try and raid her back again. Just when it looks as though he has her for keeps, somebody trots in from the court at St James, says she isn’t a Doone at all.
Victoria Hopper is adequate as Lorna Doone, although she hardly satisfies the mental picture of the violet-eyed heroine.