Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5. USA, 1940. Warner Bros.. Screenplay by Casey Robinson, based on the novel by Rachel Field. Cinematography by Ernest Haller. Produced by Anatole Litvak. Music by Max Steiner. Production Design by Carl Jules Weyl. Costume Design by Orry-Kelly. Film Editing by Warren Low. Academy Awards 1940.
Terrific costume drama is one of the best films Bette Davis made at Warner Bros. during her reign as their most respected female star. Davis plays the poor governess to a rich couple’s child who simultaneously wins the heart of her employer (Charles Boyer) while inspiring incredible jealousy from his wife (Barbara O’Neil). When O’Neil is found murdered, the two lovers become prime suspect and the authorities are left with little doubt that they are responsible for the crime. Gorgeous production design and detailed costumes by Orry-Kelly enhance an incredible viewing experience.