Ellen Wheeler (Elizabeth Taylor) is a troubled woman struggling through a shaky second marriage. Her first husband died under traumatic circumstances, and now Ellen is wed to John (Laurence Harvey), who may or may not be trysting with Ellen’s best friend, Sarah Cooke (Billie Whitelaw).
Already considered unhinged by everyone she knows, Ellen raises further concerns about her mental state when she claims to have seen a murder committed in the old abandoned house next door.
This leads to all sorts of friction with Ellen’s neighbours and with the local police, who dig up gardens and search vacant houses while looking for clues that never materialise.
Eventually, the story becomes a battle of wills between Ellen and John, because once John suggests that Ellen spend time in a sanitarium, she must prove her sanity in order to save her own freedom.
Being a psychological thriller, there’s naturally a big “surprise twist” at the end of the film. Only the most ignorant, unimaginative person will not successfully guess it after the first half-hour.
One cannot fault Elizabeth Taylor, who looks more ravishing than ever and performs with strong, intense conviction.
Laurence Harvey is also very fine as her cheating husband, played with sincerity, and Billie Whitelaw is effective as his mistress who helps plan his wife’s demise.
Girl in Car
Brian G. Hutton