Excellent adaption of Anthony Gilbert’s “The Woman In Red.” Great acting from all concerned in this story of a mother and son who hold a woman prisoner for their own nefarious ends. Never a dull moment from beginning to end.
Julia Ross (Nina Foch) is on her own in London. She can’t find a job until she spots the name of an employment agency in the paper that she’s never seen before. She talks to Miss Sparkes who makes sure Julia is really all alone. Hiding in another room is a man named Peters who was asked to stay out of sight.
She gets her a job as secretary to Mrs.Hughes (Dame May Whitty) and her son Ralph (George Macready). Julia has to move out of her rooming house and live with them. Before she leaves she’s surprised that tenant Dennis Bruce is still there. He was going to get married but it was called off at the last minute. He realized he wanted Julia. Too late. She’s leaving. She tells him to meet her later that night.
She goes to the Hughes home in London and settles in for a good night’s sleep. She wakes up in a locked room in a seaside house on a cliff in Cornwall above the sea. The initials M.H. are on various items. While she was sleeping Mrs.Hughes and Ralph burned all of her possessions. Ralph loves to play with knives and mom tells him to knock it off.
She never showed up to meet Ralph and he goes to the address where she was supposed to be living and working. A passing copper tells him everyone moved out. He doesn’t know where.
Julia’s had a scare. Someone was in her room. Mrs.Hughes blamed the cat. They keep calling her Marion and said she was Ralph’s wife. Alice the maid is told she’s a bit balmy. They want the villagers to know she’s in poor health.
Julia keeps looking for ways of escape. One day the local vicar shows up with a couple friends and she ends up hiding in the back of their car. On the road she’s about to jump out when the vicar hears the door handle being used. He makes a quick turn around and heads back to the Hughes place. Ralph sees them on the road and Julie is back where she started.
Julia still isn’t out of ideas. Good thing after what she overheard Mrs.Hughes and Ralph talking about. Good suspense all the way through makes this a must see.