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When Strangers Marry (1944)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 385 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 7 critic

A naive small-town girl comes to New York City to meet her husband, and discovers that he may be a murderer.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Paul Baxter
...
Mildred Baxter
...
Fred Graham
...
Lieutenant Blake
Lou Lubin ...
Jacob Houser
Milton Kibbee ...
Charlie (as Milt Kibbee)
Dewey Robinson ...
Newsstand Owner
Claire Whitney ...
Middle-Aged Woman
Edward Keane ...
Middle - aged Man
Virginia Sale ...
Chambermaid
Dick Elliott ...
Sam Prescott
Lee 'Lasses' White ...
Old Man (as Lee White)
Marta Mitrovich ...
Baby's Mother
Billy Nelson ...
Louisville Driver
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Storyline

A naive small-town girl comes to New York City to meet her husband, and discovers that he may be a murderer.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

DYNAMIC! (original print ad - caps only) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 August 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Betrayed  »

Box Office

Budget:

$50,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The cut between a screaming woman discovering a body and a whistling locomotive is a direct steal from Hitchcok's 'The 39 Steps' See more »

Soundtracks

Boogie Woogie
(uncredited)
Music by Lorenzo Flennoy
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User Reviews

 
Castle the Black
24 February 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Only one year after The Chance, William Castle was developing his stylistic system with leaps and bounds. The opening scene of When Strangers Marry demonstrates creative blocking and staging. The mysterious big man at the bar has his back squared up to the camera but you will notice his shoulder slightly blocks out the front of the bartender's face. This is a nice touch in the directing to emphasize the physical size and thus ominous presence of the mystery man. This kind of technique greatly supports plot progression in focusing the line of questioning of the spectator immediately onto the identity of the unknown figure. Castle also explores the abilities and utility of mobile framing. The effect is not only solid construction of space but also formation of an energy and dynamism in directing that can translate to the mise-en-scene and diegetic world. Castle also defies other crutches of "B" status films through adhering to elements of continuity. Certain scenes involve hi-key lighting setups framing characters in closeup and in these shots, Castle is consistent in providing diegetic light sources that match up. A nice touch. Another nice touch is something out of the Jean Renoir book (high praise for Castle) when the depth of field and deep staging of certain scenes allows characters seen in the distance through apartment windows to contribute to the progression of the plot in a casual and realistic manner. Some Castle tropes get an early treatment in this film. The "Silk Stocking Murder" begs many questions, not the least being one about why the audiences were not provided with a gimmicky pair of stockings on their way into the theatre. Castle frames a clock which is a popular trope of his. He also makes an appearance in the film (through a framed photo) and becomes an integral part of the plot itself as opposed to holding mere decorative function. Castle's photo might be considered one of his early gimmicks and is certainly connected to my own thesis about his impresario directing playing on the enframing and "4th Wall" of screen-spectator identification. This interplay of interiority and exteriority runs throughout the film from the sequence at Coney Island (great montage) with the carny barker to the couple "taking in a movie". More Castle developments can be mentioned... the floating heads made a regular appearance in his famous gimmick horror films as well as the oblique framing of shadows. It is difficult to understand how Castle became stymied with primitive stylistic systems while he so crisply demonstrated a full understanding of who he was to become as a director in When Strangers Marry. And the film received high critical praise. This confounds me. The one Castle prerequisite element that I could do without however is the plot contrivances (shoot the scenarists and producers as well). Strangers has its fair share of contrivance from convenient gaps in the blasting of street music (just close the window!) to a missing persons report being filled with a homicide detective. The ending has a twist but is contrived and a little too cute for this reviewer. All in all, one of the superior directing efforts by Castle and an engaging film overall.


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