The English class system - something Hitchcock really knew about - is at the centre of this extremely droll tale. Cedric Hardwicke's character really despises his family - dull wife, idiotic son and desperate, sex-starved spinster daughter - but the Princeys have always lived in the big old house outside the village and he believes firmly that they have a position to maintain. So when the daughter murders the man she was infatuated with, he naturally works out an elaborate scheme to put the blame elsewhere. The good manners of the English haute-bourgeoisie count for little when murder's afoot, but the ritual of afternoon tea is nonetheless maintained. Incidentally, the murder victim in John Collier's story is a clergyman, but here he's a schoolteacher - censorship, maybe?
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