The directors of a plastics company announce a contest to develop a new fireproof material in order to decide who will become Chief Chemist, and Thompson is afraid of being beaten by Mary. He therefore persuades John to distract Mary by pretending to be in love, but the pretence turns real. Thompson tries to frustrate the romance, but is found out.
The Love Test comes as a considerable surprise. Perhaps for the first time in Powell's early career, the cast is fully adequate to his demands for sharp, eccentric characterization - Googie Withers and Bernard Miles both contribute striking cameos - and, true to future form, a young cinematographer was given a chance to make his mark. Taking the white coats and glistening equipment of the lab as a cue, Arthur Crabtree produced a remarkable, high-key lighting scheme, set off by equally impressive chiaroscuro interludes. The shape of future transformations in the closed worlds of One of our Aircraft is Missing, Black Narcissus and The Small Back Room is discernible.
Ian Christie (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger: Arrows of Desire)