Miss Goddess wrote:
I like that they did not make it so neatly Smith Ohrig's (Robert Ryan) meanness at fault, but just as much her own inability to make up her mind what was more important to her: money and security (with a crazy husband), or love and no money (with a nice guy).
I absolutely agree that Bel Geddes' character is complicit in her own troubles. Maybe I'm the only person in the world, but I see Mason's character as 180 degrees from "nice". I see him as manipulative and sadistic, disguising his viciousness in the penumbra of civility and graciousness, with the surface allure of a savior.
Like most Ophuls' films that on the surface appear to be romantic with a poor woman being left heartbroken due to her undying and unfulfilled love, his underlying message is simply: There simply ain't no romance -- and everybody is at fault (or, nobody is at fault because there's no hope anyway).