6.5/10
968
27 user 19 critic

Experiment Perilous (1944)

In 1903, a doctor suspects murder in the gothic Bederaux family.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Allida Bederaux
...
Dr. Huntington Bailey
...
Nick Bederaux
...
'Clag' Claghorne
...
John Maitland
...
Cissie Bederaux
...
Alec Gregory
...
Maggie
...
Elaine
...
Miss Wilson
...
Deria
...
MacDonald - District Attorney
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Storyline

In 1903, Dr. Bailey meets a very strange woman on a train, then hears that she has died under mysterious circumstances. Through a friend, he becomes acquainted with the Bederaux family, all of whom seem to be neurotic and secretive; but the beauty of Alida Bederaux draws him into their circle...deeper than he'd planned. Who's in danger from whom? Who's crazy? Who can fathom the obscure motivations? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 December 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Noche en el alma  »

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title is a common variation of a line from Hippocrates, the Greek Father of Medicine: "Life is short, art is long, decision difficult, and experiment perilous." The line is recited by Nick Bederaux in the film. See more »

Goofs

In the long shot when the principals go in to dinner the butler is seen closing the door. The next shot, a medium, shows the butler closing the door again. See more »

Quotes

Nick Bederaux: Life is short and the art long. Decision difficult, experiment perilous.
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User Reviews

 
dark society drama
11 May 2006 | by (Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico) – See all my reviews

Atmospheric account of a chance meeting on a train that leads a doctor (George Brent) into the strange world of a young woman (Hedy Lamar) and her much older husband (Paul Lukas) . The opening takes place on a night time train ride to New York through cascading rainfall, and the inclement weather conditions continue on into a snowy and cloudy New York of the early 1900's. A story of a rich and jealous older husband with a lovely young wife, whom he had groomed in Parisian salons to enter society, and now feels insecure when she's enjoying the very society that he paid thousands of dollars to educate her to be in, who grew up in Austria and became laden with guilt and who now is so damaged that he can't see clearly enough to recognize his own good circumstances, and thus ruins everything. Director Jacques Tourneur dissects this pathological family (they have a son whom they keep in a bedroom which is up a spiral staircase) with great attention, creating some believable menace in true psychological suspense style. The need for a hero figure (Brent) to rescue the pretty Lamar and her innocent young son and provide a suitable conclusion, and Lamar's rather distracted and distant acting style are legitimate quibbles, but the overall tone is intelligently dark and serious.


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