The rest of this film is just not up to James Mason’s awesomely brooding performance.
The film opens with prominent neurosurgeon Michael Joyce (Mason) lecturing an avid medical school class on criminology. When he starts in on “sane” criminals his case study focuses on a doctor who killed and we segue into the voice-over narration that accompanies the long flashback that tells the tale. Michael was an unhappily married man whose whole life had become his work. Then he examines a young patient who is losing her eyesight and slowly becomes attracted to her mother, Emma. The girl’s father is overseas on a work assignment. The pair begin a friendship that quickly builds to love but Emma gets cold feet and it goes no further.
Then Emma dies when she falls out a window. Michael blames the death on Emma’s sister-in-law and the rest of the story is devoted to his plans for revenge.
This had potential but just didn’t amount to much. Despite Mason’s dulcet tones, the lecture gimmick does not add to the drama of this oddly slight story. I thought the ending was especially awkward and anti-climactic. Too bad.