6.6/10
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Flight from Destiny (1941)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir | 8 February 1941 (USA)
After philosophy Professor Todhunter is told he has 6 months left to live, he is barred from teaching by his college so there won't be a scandal if he drops dead in class. Discussing a ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Professor Henry Todhunter
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Michael Farroway
...
Dr. Lawrence Stevens
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Ketti Moret
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District Attorney
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Saunders
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Dean Somers
...
Martha
John Eldredge ...
Peterson
...
Ferrers
...
Prentiss
...
Brooks
...
Travin (as DeWolf Hopper)
Alexander Lockwood ...
Conway
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Storyline

After philosophy Professor Todhunter is told he has 6 months left to live, he is barred from teaching by his college so there won't be a scandal if he drops dead in class. Discussing a hypothetical man with 6 months to live with a group of friends, Todhunter asks each what he'd do in his last 6 months. One says he'd commit a "social murder" kill someone who is not a criminal but without whom society would be better off. The professor obsesses on the idea and actually comes across a situation involving two of his friends where he thinks it would be a good idea to act on his obsession. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

8 February 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fugindo ao Destino  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

Don Siegel directed at least one scene when director Vincent Sherman took ill and couldn't come to work. See more »

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User Reviews

 
a very different kind of film
13 December 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Thomas Mitchell takes a "Flight from Destiny," in this 1941 film also starring Geraldine Fitzgerald, Jeffrey Lynn, and Mona Maris.

Thomas plays a professor with six months to live who is told by his boss that he can't teach any longer at the university. He would like to do something meaningful in his last six months. After giving it some thought and talking to his buddies at his club, he decides to murder someone, someone whom the law can't touch, someone whose loss wouldn't be missed and someone who is a detriment in her world.

He learns that there are problems in the marriage of his friends, Betty and Michael Farraway. Michael is a talented artist but hasn't been producing much lately. Professor Todhunter and Betty follow him one night and see him meeting a glamorous woman, Ketti Moret (Maris), an art dealer.

Todhunter visits the woman, who denies any interest in Michael other than in his career, and while there, Todhunter admires a valuable painting. When he goes to Michael's studio with Betty, he finds a painting that doesn't look like Michael's work but does look like the old painting in Ketti Moret's house. The professor realizes that she is having Michael replicate the artist's style, and she is selling them as originals. He investigates Moret thoroughly and discovers that she abandoned her husband and daughter, putting her daughter in an orphanage, and doesn't help her mother, who works as a janitor. Todhunter decides that she must die.

While somewhat predictable, this is certainly an original story with an excellent performance by Thomas Mitchell. I love the beautiful Mona Maris in anything, and she was wonderful as the amoral, narcissistic Ketti. Geraldine Fitzgerald is lovely but wasted, and Jeffrey Lynn is very good.

It's hard to describe this film or story - it's really one you have to see and judge for yourself. In well over 3000 films that I've seen, I've seen just one other with as bizarre a plot, Trouble for Two, from Hollywood's golden era. Well worth a look.


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