Hitchcock’s third sound picture. Herbert Marshall plays Sir John, a noted stage actor serving on the jury weighing the case of a young actress accused of murder. The case appears open-and-shut, but Sir John has doubts. After ceding to peer pressure and voting guilty, his conscience compels him to launch his own investigation.
Beyond embracing sound, this picture sees Hitchcock pushing its limits. He goes through tremendous lengths to shoot a scene where we hear Sir John’s inner monologue as he shaves. The scene doesn’t age well, but as a technical magic trick it’s fascinating to watch.
This applies to much of the picture. The cast is serviceable but not riveting, and plot holes litter the talky script, leaving Hitchcock’s formal technique as the lone draw.