|Dirk Bogarde and Susan Shaw|
Agnes Huston (Jean Kent), a woman who has a fortune-telling act as "Madame Astra," is found strangled in her home. Supt. Lodge (Duncan Macrae) and Inspector Butler (Joe Linnane) interview assorted suspects and seem to get very different impressions of the woman. A neighbor, Mrs. Finch (Hermione Baddeley), sees her as a warm and classy lady, while her sister, Catherine (Susan Shaw of Pool of London) sees her as a crude and hateful antagonist. Then there's Bob Baker (Dirk Bogarde of I Could Go On Singing), who wants to do a mind-reading act with Agnes but winds up engaged to Catherine. The kindly Albert Pollard (Charles Victor) does lots of favors for Agnes and becomes smitten with her, and the sailor Michael Murray (John McCallum) has a hankering for her as well. The Woman in Question is an absorbing mystery-drama that features excellent performances from the entire cast, with a special nod to Jean Kent, who also appeared to good advantage in The Browning Version the following year. The film illustrates the fact that every person we know or meet forms a different impression of us depending on their own personality, circumstances, and a variety of other factors. The killer may not come as a big surprise, but the film is still quite watchable. With his good looks and acting skill, Bogarde was clearly destined for major stardom and was already on his way. McCallum was not well-known to American audiences.
Verdict: Noteworthy British mystery with top-notch performances. ***.