"The story made a deeper impression upon me this time around. The dreamy love attraction between Robert Cummings and Michèle Morgan contrasted so much with the gangsterism of her husband Steve Cochran and his ever-cynical right-hand man, Peter Lorre. Cochran’s cruelty, greed, violent nature and suspicion are brought out fully. Havana becomes a place of shadowy danger, an inexplicable trap during the sequence in which Cummings and Morgan make an escape."
"Director Arthur Ripley’s collaboration with writer Philip Yordan (based on a Cornell Woolrich story) and with Planer paid off in a piece with tremendous atmosphere. An important part of it is done symbolically and metaphorically rather than with dialog or pat explanations. That lifts it out of the realm of the ordinary and makes it timeless and mysterious. We feel the symbols and have to understand them at a non-conscious level. These include a strange car in which Cochran can control the speed from the back seat, and he subjects drivers Lorre and Cummings to an ordeal that frightens them and demands control as they race against a speeding train. A strange dagger plays a part, one with a jade handle depicting one of the set "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil". A murder is part of a conspiracy that engulfs Cummings. Cochran’s home is outfitted in an unusual Greco-Roman style. He dresses impeccably. His relationship with Morgan is practically to imprison her. Cochran keeps a large dog who seems very friendly but who kills a victim who won’t sell out to Cochran. Morgan is attracted to the pounding surf and almost seems on the verge of suicide. The waters mirror the depth of turmoil in her life and soul. Cummings in his chauffeur’s uniform symbolizes a calm and unswerving rescuer, unafraid. The door to Cochran’s mansion has a peephole and Cummings’ first entry is greeted with great suspicion."
"When Jack Holt appears, who has been the doctor of Cummings, helping him overcome anxiety neurosis from military service, we learn that some of what we have seen has been faulty memory of Cummings. In this way and through the extended dream sequence, the lines between dream, imagination, distorted memory and reality are all blurred."
"The ending in Havana caps that blurring by completing a circle of repetition between dream and reality."