(Review originally written at 8 December 2010)

This is one pretty well directed and acted out movie, that however suffers from a story that feels far from ever being a likely one and the way it presents and unfolds itself just didn't do much for me.

You could say that this movie is being too much of a melodrama, that focuses on a worst-case scenario, that however is so unlikely that, to me, the movie falls flat with its drama and emotions, during the movie its most climatic moments. To be frank, the story seemed totally silly, when a normal man starts to go slowly mental, after starting to take a new drug, against a life treating illness he suffers from. It's not only far from likely that a thing like this could ever happen, as gets portrayed in this movie but the whole way all of the characters react to the situation and try to cope with it are just far from likely and come mostly across as very silly. Yes, this is also for some part due to the fact that this movie is an outdated one, though I would imaging that people back in 1956 already had more common sense as well. The wife just comes across as incredibly weak and naive, for instance.

So no, this movie really didn't do much for me with any of its emotions but it's still a movie that remains a well made one and also does feature some good moments in it. The entire idea behind this movie remains quite interesting and daring for its time as well but I just feel that the overall execution of it is definitely lacking.

I often really love a Nicholas Ray movie, or I end up being very disappointed by it. I'm still willing to give this movie the benefit of the doubt because it still remains an overall well made movie, that just didn't had a very likely script to work with. It also still remains a movie that at times is lacking in its pace and its build up, which also causes some of the movie its drama to fall flat. Perhaps if the movie had been a bit longer, the build up and the eventual pay off of the movie would had worked out a lot better, though it would had probably provided the movie as well with some more pacing problems.

Also the actors did really their best. James Mason was a great leading man for this movie and Walter Matthau also shows up, in one of his earlier movie roles. Still funny to see how James Mason always keeps up his thick English accent in American movies, like he simply didn't care.

Nothing about this movie made me hate it but it's also too flawed to love it really.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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