The theme is very much like that of something as outwardly different as Asquith’s Libel, the main way of achieving it is by adopting Clément’s Jeux interdits for the purpose, translating it, as it were.
The girl with a case of amnesia and the mark of Cain on her brow has a shotgun aimed at her in the first scene, the playful boy falls down and kills himself, wounding her with a painful memory she curtails.
The gypsies on the scrap heap come to her aid, one does, when the memory is forced up and she leaps screaming into the river.
The war forgotten and the victor’s guilt, the fanciful preoccupation with death among “children and small animals”, the awakening of memory as a live connection.
The Monthly Film Bulletin was apparently unaffected. “Behind the overwhelming feyness of it all lurk assumptions which in cold blood look almost sinister.”
Variety took it for a “naïve yarn” saved by sincerity.
The direction is especially remarkable for its close attention to the performers, and that includes the several dogs. Mills and Ibbetson together have a way of eliciting more of a face, in the round one should say, to tell the tale.