Paul Raden (Albert Dekker), hopelessly insane son of Maxim Raden, hated owner of the Radentown mills, is in a strait jacket in a secret room in the family mansion, while the body of his father is lowered into a grave. Twenty-five years earlier, the brutal father had hurled Paul against a wall when the young boy had tried to defend his mother and, with his brain injured forever, Paul's last memory, before descending into the shadows on insanity, was his mother's agonized scream. At the graveside are Dr. Ben Saunders (Harry Carey), Paul's twin brother John (Albert Dekker) and John's wife Elaine (Frances Farmer). Pompey (Ernest Whitman' ), the family servant who has cared for and guarded Paul and kept the family secret for a quarter of a century,watches from afar. That night Dr. Saunders tells John that his twin, who he thought dead, is alive as the father, refusing to commit him to an institution, had bribed the doctor to sign a false death certificate and then bury another child's body... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
[Not knowing Paul is the escaped serial killer, Millie gives him a gun and suggests they search the deserted Raden estate to earn the reward for his capture]
You're not afraid -- at all?
For five thousand dollars, I'm not afraid of anything, not even death!
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Fairly primitive doppelganger thriller, interesting for early Susan Hayward
Just what sort of movie is Among the Living? It's not that easy to determine. This short (67 minute) 1941 offering is part thirties gothic and part early noir; in any case it's fairly primitive but it has its moments. Albert Dekker (his screen debut) plays twin brothers, one of whom, presumed dead for a quarter-century, is an infantile psychotic. He's been sequestered away in the decrepit family pile all these years but manages to escape, taking up residence in a rooming house owned by the young Susan Hayward's mother. When it looks like the gibbering idiot has money to burn, Hayward sets her hat for him. The most interesting facet of the film is watching Susan Hayward play her speciality, an on-screen hellion, particularly since Frances Farmer, gets wasted as the proper and dutiful wife of the "good" Albert Dekker. Much mayhem ensues, revolving around the confusion between the brothers (the existence of one of whom, remember, has been a deep dark secret). Toward the end, the film develops an ugly energy as the townspeople coalesce into a lynch mob, but, beware: this is not Fritz Lang's Fury. By modern standards, Among the Living has become a curio.
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