Hazel is a child of nature living on the Shropshire borders at the turn of the century, the daughter of a blind harpist and haunted by her dead mother's superstitions. Although she is drawn to the sadistic squire, Jack Redding, she agrees to marry the meek Reverend Marston, but the conflict between these two is too great and she eventually plunges to her death, while being hunted along with her beloved fox.
David Selznick had initially proposed Gone to Earth as a vehicle for Jennifer Jones, on the strength of his enthusiasm for The Red Shoes, but was so dissatisfied with the resulting film that he cut it extensively and hired Mamoulian to reshoot scenes in America for a version known as The Wild Heart. With a colour palette and symbolic style boldly carried over from the theatre world of The Red Shoes to the Shropshire countryside, Gone to Earth constantly threatens to topple into cliché or caricature. What prevents this is the extraordinary energy and conviction of Jennifer Jones's performance - midway between her two great roles in Vidor's Duel in the Sun (1947) and Ruby Gentry (1952).
Ian Christie (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger: Arrows of Desire)