A military nurse recovering at an inn from a nervous breakdown keeps having dreams where she sees two men trying to murder a third. When she meets a man who is a federal agent at the inn, ... See full summary »
Horace Vendig shows himself to the world as a rich philanthropist. In fact, the history of his rise from his unhappy broken home shows this to be far from the case. After being taken in by ... See full summary »
Homicide detective Mike Carter is tossed off the police force for insubordination and violating regulations. He reluctantly takes a job as bodyguard to Mrs. Gene Dysen, the owner of a local... See full summary »
A lonely, mentally unbalanced woman invents a fictitious daughter and has the "daughter" write to a Marine stationed in the South Pacific. When the soldier returns back to the States, he ... See full summary »
Nurse Anne Lee blames herself for a fatal mistake of her sister Lucy, who also is a nurse. Anne loses her job, and gets a new one at a poorly equipped country hospital. There she falls in ... See full summary »
A Maine lobster fisherman, trained as an architect, prefers to be a fisherman over the objections of his fiancée. The latter, a welfare worker for the state, finds a home for a 12-year-old ... See full summary »
Reporter Kenny Blake (Hugh Beaumont) falls in love with scheming Toni Kirkland ('Ann Savage') not knowing that she is married to Harvey Kirkland (Russell Hicks), a man years older than she.... See full summary »
At her engagement party, Joan Ellis, your typical girl next door, acknowledges that the strange voice that she's heard all her life is coming from within herself. Joan's alter ego, a conniving and murderous woman named Karen, is becoming stronger and stronger and is threatening to take over her life. Joan negotiates with Karen. Although they do come to an agreement, Karen reneges on that agreement when the situation suits her. Karen ultimately wants the men in Joan's life, first her fiancé, Bob Arnold, then Eric Russell, a lawyer Joan meets in New York City. Joan does whatever she needs to to get rid of Karen, even if it a threat to her own life. Without knowing for certain what is wrong with Joan, those close to her, including Eric and Dr. Bergson, do whatever they can to save her. Written by
[left alone in the shadows, Joan hears her alter ego's voice]
Joan... Joan... I've been fighting with you all your life... Listen, you, I've waited a long time for this. You've gotta let me live!... I won't go back in the dark. I'll live! I'll live!
See more »
No need to repeat the plot. The force behind the movie is Arch Oboler, an established radio heavyweight at the time. From his credits, it looks like he kept searching for a handle in Hollywood but never quite found it. Certainly, it wasn't from lack of imaginationhis 1951 film "Five" dealt with nuclear post-apocalypse in a resourceful and compelling way at a time when no studio would touch the subject. That same bold imagination is evident in this movie as well. The professionals dismiss the film as "heavy-handed", which it is. However, there are compensations that are too easily overlooked.
Aside from Thaxter's fine performance, the movie contains several profoundly imaginative touches. Catch that moody dollying shot down the deserted city street that finally fixes on a cringing Thaxter hiding behind an open doorway. Not only is it great atmosphere, but it also sort of sums up Thaxter's predicament. She's afraid to come out into the world for risk of immediate exposure, so she clings fearfully to a hidden world where only she exists. It's a well-conceived and artfully executed passage. Then there's that darn-near sublime set-up with Thaxter huddled in a concert hallway while we see a long-shot of a vocalist pinpointed by a thin beam of light. The woman intones a mournful version of My Old Kentucky Home, like the proverbial voice in the darkened wilderness. It may be the only glimpse we get of Thaxter's true inner self, summed up poetically.
But the overly literal side does unfortunately predominate, and I wish someone had more confidence in audience imagination. For one thing, that would have eliminated the two hokey doppelgangers in the exorcism scene. Also, the conventional happy ending is much too pat for the problem being dealt with, but is indicative of the time. And if I'm not mistaken, there's a quick reference from Gwenn to Thaxter's problem as being genetic, as if a multiple personality trait can be passed along in the genes. I'm no clinical psychologist, but I doubt seriously this is the prevailing view. Anyway, it's too bad Oboler couldn't get a better handle on Hollywood. I think his credits showed genuine promise. This movie may be unfortunately flawed (perhaps because of studio dictates), but the very real compensations should not be overlooked.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?