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Experiment Perilous (1944)

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



(screenplay), (novel)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Allida Bederaux
Dr. Huntington Bailey
Nick Bederaux
Olive Blakeney ...
Cissie Bederaux
Mary Servoss ...
Miss Wilson
William Post Jr. ...
District Attorney


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>

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Release Date:

18 December 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Noche en el alma  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Hedy Lamarr's singing voice was dubbed by Paula Raymond. See more »


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 »

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User Reviews

Wonderful moody noir study of genteel insanity
4 January 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Jacques Tourneur, whose films (such as the famous 'Cat People') were noted for their subtle and suggestive qualities, delivers an excellent specimen of his craft here, by directing a mysterious and atmospheric drama set in 1903. The incredibly beautiful Hedy Lamarr is at her dazzling best in her exquisite period gowns, looking deeply disturbed, and having good reason to do so, as her husband is a dangerous psychotic who may at any moment kill their son. The story begins in the best way possible, with a chance meeting on a train between the superbly mysterious and elusive actress Olive Blakeney and a calm, unruffled, and reassuring medical doctor played by George Brent. Brent could be annoying when cast in straight and earnest romantic leads, but being a doctor is perfect for him, and we happily allow him to fall in love with the one woman no one could ever resist, Hedy Lamarr, widely known in her prime as 'the most beautiful woman in the world'. Paul Lukas as the insane but genteel, rich, and sophisticated husband, has plenty of opportunity to show what a splendid actor he was, as he tackles this role with great subtlety. If only the scenes in the daisy fields had not been shot on a studio set! Otherwise, the atmosphere, especially of the huge old-fashioned mansion, is powerful and reeks of mystery. This is an excellent melodrama. Some of the film was cut at the last minute, as a shocking gap in continuity occurs when Brent is telling his friend that he is being followed. He does not comment on the strange shoes the man had been wearing, which we had previously seen on camera. But the next moment, his friend mentions them, despite not having been told about them in the final cut. The studio may have ordered some cuts by another editor, without the director being involved, as Tourneur would never have let this happen if he could have prevented it. So probably ten or fifteen minutes of the film were chopped out prior to release. This film is only available on DVD in Spain, from where I obtained it (where it is called 'Noche en el Alma'), and I had to watch it with Spanish subtitles. One will do anything to see a Hedy Lamarr film, after all, won't one?

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Accents? LilyLiveredFarmer
Wonder what happened to the portrait of Allida Bedereaux? dlevy1201
Plot Hole: Deria mistaking Dr. Bailey for Alec Gregory??? dlevy1201
DVD of Experiment Perilous out now in UK mr-dan-hunter
Opening scene. notorious918
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