James Stewart stars as a railroad man hired to secretly carry a payroll despite his suspected connections to outlaws
Hitchcock's final British film before leaving for the States and a second career is a disappointing and an uncharacteristic romantic melodrama. Set in 19th-century Cornwall, and about an orphan girl who becomes involved with smugglers, it is a travesty of Daphne du Maurier's novel. Hitchcock, who claimed to dislike historical subjects, said he was intrigued by the dual character of the squire, played with relish in a lip-smacking manner by Laughton. There are few bravado cinematic moments and the film has a stilted studio feel to it.
Hitch returned far more successfully to du Maurier 24 years later with The Birds.
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