Against the technical excellence of mounting, a confused flashback plot [based on the novel, ‘Karl und Anna’, by Leonhard Frank] is unfolded. Offered is a story of a wife who, after long years of faithful waiting, succumbs to lonesomeness on the eve of her supposedly dead husband’s return from war. The husband kills his rival in a struggle. Locale is a small fishing village on the coast of Normandy and catches interest with colorful settings and seascapes.
Flashbacks within flashbacks make plot hard to follow as the wife talks over her story – and what caused it – with a doctor. There is no director credit, picture having had several during its long camera career, so kudos for some topnotch atmospheric effects, a number of strong, emotional scenes and occasional suspense go uncredited. George Cukor started it and Mervyn LeRoy finished it, but neither wants the credit apparently. Otherwise pace is slow and interest slack.
Greer Garson’s role requires continual emotional stress that makes for a heavy job but she is capable. Robert Mitchum has too little footage as the husband but he makes every scene count. Richard Hart, the betrayer of the faithful wife, is permitted to overstress his designs where underplaying would have aided.