Transformation of the stageplay [by Robert Morley and Noel Langley] to the screen has widened the appeal of the original and given it the impetus of movement. There is never any doubt that Edward, son of the Boults, is a spoiled child as his parents rise in the social strata. Arnold Boult is the proud father whose conception of love for his offspring is to anticipate his every wish.
Into the main theme is delicately woven the estrangement between Arnold and Evelyn Boult. When the picture first opens they are seen in modest surroundings and ideally happy. But as Arnold prospers, through shady methods the drift is complete. Although caught in an affair with his secretary, Arnold refuses a divorce, as it may interfere with his ambitious plans.
Skillful direction has brought this play to the screen with full dramatic force. There is no letup in its intensity and it moves surely and swiftly from one dramatic phase to another. Spencer Tracy as Arnold Boult dominates the screen with a forceful portrayal of the ambitious man who allowed nothing to stand in the way of his determination to reach the top rung of the ladder.
Deborah Kerr displays remarkable ability in transforming the character of Evelyn from the demure happy young women to the embittered, drunken and miserable wife. Ian Hunter gives a warm, understanding study of the family doctor, who is unable to hide his love for Mrs Boult.