Film is a murder mystery lacking much mystery but with all the suspense of a super-whodunnit. More than that, this production actually is a keen character study of a man whose married life has been a hell-on-earth and who sacrifices all to protect the one happiness in his middle-age, a sensible young stenographer who later becomes his wife.
In Charles Laughton’s accomplished hands, this character becomes fascinating. Withal, he makes it a typical home-loving storekeeper accustomed to the simple things in London of the gaslight era.
There is less of the bluster and none of the villainy of Laughton’s previous vehicles. He gives an impeccable performance as the kindly, law-abiding citizen. Matching his deft portrayal is Ella Raines as the youthful steno he weds after his wife’s demise.