Relationship between Dr. Rossiter and Evelyn Morley
I've always felt that there was a certain peculiar undercurrent in the creepy opening of the movie, that suggests the possibility that Evelyn Morley may have been infatuated with Dr. Rossiter and had been having an affair with him, in addition to being his patient. It's hard to say just what it is, but certain comments and small details make me wonder. Her father remarks to her husband that he can't understand why Evelyn would run off, since the two of them are happily married. There is a vague reference to the first time she disappeared.
When we first see her, she is hysterical and going around smashing mirrors, while wearing a filmy negligee over a black brassiere and panties, pretty risque for 1960. Rossiter is seen frantically driving away from an unspecified location, as Evelyn Morley keeps calling his name. Is he fleeing the scene of an assignation with her?
When her husband and father enter the isolated house and hear her laughing insanely, they find her looking disfigured in a ghastly way. The camera reveals a black and white glamor photo of her in a frame, looking very classy and attractive. This has also puzzled me for years, because it's hard to understand why she would think her looks needed improving. Is my memory that bad, or is there a vague reference to her having had a traffic accident? The husband and father discuss the mysterious disappearance and refer to several plastic surgeons warning her not to attempt any surgery, but Rossiter was so confident of his ability to restore faces that he persuaded her to risk it.
That Rossiter is not a fraud is shown by the surgical transformation of the young French girl's face, and Martin's comment about an earlier operation, " I saw how miraculously he remodelled that child's face." Rossiter tells Angela and Martin that he had explained to Evelyn Morley that one operation was not enough, and that several over the course of a year were necessary. He also states that he warned her against removing the bandages too soon by herself, so it would seem that some of her misfortunes were brought on by her own eagerness to look good.
Viewers and critics have complained that the film offers little in the way of background or character development, and a great deal has to be taken for granted and not examined too closely, if the movie is to work at all. But since it has apparently been determined that four minutes were cut from the original British version for American release, one can't help but wonder just what might have been clarified in those missing scenes.
I probably have too much time on my hands, but I would be interested to know what other viewers might have to say about these ideas. Has anyone else ever wondered about that relationship?
And when he crossed the bridge, the phantoms came to meet him