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A story that reads well and holds the interest, but leaves the reader dissatisfied and resentful at its close. Carey Arundel, Irish and aspirant to theatrical acclaim, marries Paul Saffron, egoist supreme, who sees himself as the world's greatest producer. Their marriage is a succession of concessions to Paul's ego -- and at its end, it is Paul who makes the break, going his own way in creating German films. And Carey retires from the stage and marries a conservative older man with a problem son, who gradually becomes Carey's central concern. The war cuts -- or seems to cut- the final chord to Paul, and from his years in concentration camp, his ultimate release, stories filter out of collaboration with the enemy, of rejection by the very studios that had sought him earlier. He comes back into Carey's life --wrecks her marriage to Austin -- and, in trying to help him gain a foothold again, she agrees to go back to the screen, with him as technical director, and together they achieve the highest recognition possible only to have him smash it all, for the sake of bluntly telling the motion picture world what he thinks of them. Her world in bits about her, Carey drives off into the mountains with Saffron, knowing that only she will stand by him-and there the story ends. Set in a frame of the dinner at which Paul rejected success- and ending with the dinner and its aftermath, the body of the story between goes back to the beginning and works up to the known end, a device Hilton used once before, but one that weakens -- for most readers- the suspense factor of a story. Facile plotting, but the characters never achieve three dimensional form, and the magnetism Paul Saffron exerts over Carey (which alone would justify the conclusion) is not fully realized at any point. Hilton's name-and the glamour elements of the Hollywood scene- add up to considerable measure of popularity.

Pub Date: Feb. 20th, 1950
Publisher: Little, Brown