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Francis L. Sullivan
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Old friends Ward and Phillip both become smitten with Phillip's mother's attractive young secretary Stella. But Stella marries Phillip and stands by him as his behavior becomes more and more erratic and his jealousy of Ward increases. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <email@example.com>
W.S. Van Dyke took over the direction of the movie from Robert B. Sinclair, who became ill shortly after shooting began. Van Dyke was in the Marines, but was granted a 14-day leave to finish the picture. Neither Sinclair nor Van Dyke was available for retakes, which were then directed by Richard Thorpe. See more »
The movie commences with a quote, "Heaven hath no rage like love to hatred turned", which it attributes to Milton. The quote is in fact from William Congreve's play The Mourning Bride. See more »
RAGE TO HEAVEN is an MGM B-film masquerading as an A-film, with a preposterous script and a very detached looking ROBERT MONTGOMERY playing a role he says he was "forced" to play.
At least INGRID BERGMAN and GEORGE SANDERS do more than walk through their paces. Sanders plays a decent guy, for a change, although most probably the casting would have been better if he had been in the Montgomery role. The story is a triangle involving a man with a past and two people victimized by him being released from an asylum.
As it is, this is old-fashioned melodrama with a Gothic touch, which unfortunately went through three directors. Woody Van Dyke was able to finish the film while on a 14 day leave from the Marines, which accounts for the hurried look of the film's last twenty-five minutes in which all of the final incidents are played at a frantic pace. This becomes so annoying that it's hard to judge the film as anything other than a B-film in search of a decent director, a happily cast leading actor and a script that makes sense. Richard Thorpe had to be called in to finish whatever remaining footage Van Dyke did not shoot.
ROBERT MONTGOMERY did himself no favor by deciding to play his role by the numbers, just to get even with the studio. The film suffers badly from his lack of participation. If ever an actor phoned in his role, this was it.
Worth a look as a curiosity piece--and at least fans of Bergman or Sanders should find their roles satisfying enough. But the absurd abruptness of the final scenes is really disconcerting.
Oscar HOMOLKA gets the award for Biggest Ham Acting as a doctor who holds the secret to Montgomery's past. He makes the role a mixture of comic parody and overly theatrical ham--just another factor that throws the whole film off balance.
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