The Theater: Old Play in Manhattan, Oct. 20, 1952

The Sacred Flame (by Somerset Maugham) is something Maugham ought never to have written. Even in 1928, when it may have aired a bolder problem, it must have seemed a singular problem play. As a matter of fact, it is a sort of drawing-room problem whodunit, concocted of about equal parts Wilde, Pinero and Agatha Christie, doused with platitudes, and served up half-cold.

Maugham tells of a young Englishman, smashed up for life in a plane accident, whose devoted wife and brother have fallen passionately in love and are having an affair. The hopeless...

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