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Edward G. Robinson,
Kathy leaves the newspaper business to marry homicide detective Bill but is frustrated by his lack of ambition and the banality of life in the suburbs. Her drive to advance Bill's career soon takes her down a dangerous path.
An adventuresome young man goes off to find himself and loses his socialite fiancée in the process. But when he returns 10 years later, she will stop at nothing to get him back, even though she is already married.
I wouldn't have believed that this film could run barely over an hour in length; in the course of its 67 minutes, it crams in more plot twists, emotional punch and sheer tension than recent blockbusters can manage in 200 or more, with never a wasted moment... but no lack, either, of aching silences and endless hours at night. As the innocent, idealistic young wife adrift in a city and world utterly alien to her, Kim Hunter carries the whole film with a performance of breathtaking conviction. She is scarcely off-screen from start to finish, as the character grows and matures both in confidence and desperation, and our assumptions about the outcome shift off-balance from one moment to the next. 'When Strangers Marry' is without a doubt her film. It's also an emotional roller-coaster, a gripping piece of noir -- and, unbelievably, a no-budget miracle shot in just seven days.
Robert Mitchum, in an early role, is a little wooden but crucially effective in the part of the former suitor who provides a steady shoulder for his one-time fiancée to lean on, and Dean Jagger is suitably elusive as the longed-for husband who is all but a stranger, but it is Hunter who really stands out here. I wasn't expecting much from this film but was absolutely swept away by it: an example above all of how to do a Hitchcock on Poverty Row.
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