Bil’s rating (out of 5): B. United Kingdom, 1964. Columbia Pictures Corporation, Troy-Schenck Productions. Screenplay by Julian Zimet, based on the novel by Francoise des Ligneris. Cinematography by Walter Lassally. Produced by Phillip Hazleton. Music by Kenneth V. Jones. Production Design by John Stoll. Costume Design by Julie Harris. Film Editing by Max Benedict.
Francoise de Ligneris’ novel is adapted to the big screen with the dullest possible results. Patricia Neal is excellent as a woman suffering hysterical blindness after a tumble down a flight of stairs leaves her at the mercy of her husband (Curd Jürgens, so emotionless he could be a statue) and good friend/assistant Ian Bannen (the best in the film). When Neal announces that her little sister (Samantha Eggar) is coming to stay with them after the dissolution of yet another of her whirlwind marriages, Jurgens is hesitant to let the young woman’s feisty personality back into their lives and, over the course of the film, we find out why. What should be the investigation of a woman’s heart and soul is actually a dry melodrama with dim-witted characters and lifeless direction, truly a chore to sit through.