THUNDER ON THE HILL (1951) B/W 84m dir: Douglas Sirk

w/Claudette Colbert, Ann Blyth, Robert Douglas, Anne Crawford, Philip Friend, Gladys Cooper, Michael Pate, John Abbott, Gavin Muir, Connie Gilchrist

This mystery yarn is set in a British convent during a rainstorm and makes for absorbing (melo)drama as handled by director Sirk. Blyth plays a condemned murderess who is detained at the convent due to the storm, and Colbert is a nun who sets out to prove her innocence. This was only Sirk's second film under his Universal contract, and he hadn't yet been given the opportunity to direct the straight melodramas that became his most successful films. But, this is a very interesting film. As Cahiers du Cinema remarked: "Somewhat hampered by the script [by Oscar Saul and Andrew Solt, from the play Bonaventure by Charlotte Hastings], which is a mixture of religious police intrigue and metaphysical drama, Sirk finds in this extreme psychological climate, among the unleashed elements, the exact sense of melodrama."