As we left the theatre after watching this latest J. A. Rank thriller, the box office cashier was frantically scrubbing his face with what looked like a handful of dollar bills. This indicates that "Clouded Yellow" is a financial success; it's also a good picture. Producer 'Betty Box' has done a skillful job of combining the three basic thriller plots--espionage, manhunt, and psychological intimidation.
In a deceptively slow opening sequence, "Clouded Yellow" follows ex-espionage agent Trevor Howard as he goes job-hunting in an inconspicuous white Jaguar SS. Eventually he finds employment in a lonely country mansion where Jean Simmons--beautiful as ever--is being driven mad by her conniving step-parents. Then someone tries to frame Miss Simmons for murder, Howard piles her into the trunk compartment and leaves town. Step-parents, police, and assorted MI-5 agents follow in hot pursuit.
This hour-long escape sequence achieves a rising level of suspense as Howard uses his espionage training in car stealing, judo, passport forging, and disguise to foil both the police and his fellow agents. In the Liverpool warehouse climax villainy gets its gory reward, and "Clouded Yellow" establishes itself as unusually good entertainment.