Pauline Kael wrote: "Clayton is a felicitous choice to direct a character study film about a woman's rage against the Church for her wasted life. His first feature was Room at the Top with Simone Signoret and he made The Innocents with Deborah Kerr and The Pumpkin Eater with Anne Bancroft - he knows how to show women's temperatures and their mind-body inter-actions. Maggie Smith becomes the essence of spinster - she makes you feel the ghastliness of knowing you're a figure of fun."
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