A mansion that sits atop and expanse of the Cornwall coast. It has been abandoned and seemingly is vacant of life. Two siblings move in after seeing it from the cliff top, claiming it as a mirage. While the waves crash and sea foams below. One is a famous composer (Ray Milland) and the other is a keen society lady (Ruth Hussey). What they discover about this place is a ghastly weeping sound, in the wee hours of the night. Stopping at dawn. A sharp breeze, blowing around the house. This upsets and disturbs the current residents. When they investigate in detail, a tale of love, loss, death and despair is told…
What is it about Lewis Allen film that marks it out? Seriousness most certainly. What though of his cast. An Oscar winner (Milland had won 2 years prior for best actor in The Lost Weekend) and Ruth Hussey, serious actress with clout. Both give grand turns and also validate Allen in his serious take on the (till then at least) comically treated genre piece. Gothic tales of love and loss, haunted places and possessed spaces were common in literature and radio. However film was less kind. Allen’s film and its reception did change this. The video essay reveals this (as did Allen Bryce’s superb linear notes on the DVD version). Michael Almereyda also calculated the stars works in Hollywood and later films worth exploring, inspired by this. Its from a previous release but very good indeed. This is also why the disc has two versions of the radio play. Both have the same cast and both are less unsettling but also more compact. Making it effective shocks and frights.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
- New 2K digital film restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
- New visual essay by filmmaker Michael Almereyda
- Two radio adaptations, from 1944 and 1949, both starring Ray Milland
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme and a 1997 interview with director Lewis Allen