Conflict (1945)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller  |  15 June 1945 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,023 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 8 critic

An engineer trapped in an unhappy marriage murders his wife in the hope of marrying her younger sister.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Dr. Mark Hamilton
Kathryn Mason
Charles Drake ...
Prof. Norman Holsworth
Dr. Grant
Patrick O'Moore ...
Det. Lt. Egan (as Pat O'Moore)
Ann Shoemaker ...
Nora Grant
Edwin Stanley ...
Phillips (as Ed Stanley)


Richard Mason is slightly hurt in a car accident but pretends that his injuries are worse so that he cannot accompany his wife, Kathryn on a trip to the mountains. He does, however, kill her on a lonely mountain road. Or did he? He smells her perfume, finds her jewelry, sees an envelope addressed in her handwriting. He goes back to the scene of the crime to find ... what? Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


SUSPENSE...SUSPICION...MAN-WOMAN DESIRES! (original print ad - all caps)


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 June 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Pentacle  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to Robert Osborne of Turner Classic Movies, this film was made in 1943. It is shown as being released in June 1945. Edwin Stanley who played Phillips passed away in December 1944 prior to it being released. See more »


When Richard sees his wife disappear into an empty apartment, the owner tells him that the place has "redone floors and all new wallpaper", yet every wall is plain paint. See more »


Richard Mason: [on the phone with Lt. Egan] Hello Egan, this is Mason, somebody's been in my house tonight. No nothing has been taken, something's been added, the wedding ring my wife wore when she went away.
See more »


Referenced in The Cosby Show: Elvin Pays for Dinner (1990) See more »


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User Reviews

Many call this an unusual Bogart film...
24 December 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

...but it isn't really that unusual if you consider the films Bogart made after "High Sierra" and he began to get meatier film roles instead of the one-note gangster roles Warner Brothers often put him into from 1936 until 1941. Bogart was quite a versatile actor to put it mildly, and this film showcases yet another side of his talents.

Bogart plays Richard Mason, an engineer who is celebrating his fifth wedding anniversary with his wife Kathryn (Rose Hobart). However, Richard and Kathryn have been snapping at each other for the last few weeks. In a bit of a showdown before attending their anniversary party, Richard admits that he is in love with Kathryn's sister Evelyn, and Kathryn admits her short temper has been because she realizes this. Kathryn also states that she would never agree to a divorce. Realize that Evelyn (Alexis Smith) is innocent in all of this as Richard has been worshiping her from afar.

That night, on the way back from their anniversary party, Richard is gazing at Evelyn through the rear view mirror and has an automobile accident as a result of not paying attention to the road. Evelyn and Kathryn are unharmed, but Richard has broken his leg. Richard uses this injury, and the fact that no doctor can be sure at what point he'll regain the use of his leg, to come up with a rather clever scheme for killing his wife. After recovering his mobility, he continues to behave as though incapacitated. With everyone believing him immobilized by his injury, he intercepts his wife's car on a remote mountain road, blocking the road with his own car. He kills his wife and then sends the car off a cliff with Kathryn inside. A large group of logs go off the cliff with the car making a kind of eery formation on top of it and obscuring the wreck. The car does not catch fire.

Now all Richard has to do is go back to town undetected, still playing the cripple, and now playing the worried husband as well when his wife does not reach her destination. With Evelyn at his side to provide moral support, his plan is to wait for the alerted state police to find his wife's car and thus her body. Then he'll be free to court Evelyn. However, there is one snag - the police never find Kathryn's body or her car. On top of that, Kathryn's things that were with her when she died are showing up one by one - in Richard's desk, in his bedroom, in his luggage when he goes on a trip. The scent of Kathryn's perfume fills their room one night. He even sees someone who is dressed just like his wife on the street one day and follows her - she disappears into thin air. Whatever is going on here? Was Kathryn unharmed in this second accident as well? Is she playing with him? Unlike most mysteries, this one is not something that needs to be explained to the audience at the end, although it is. If you watch the film closely enough you'll figure out exactly what happened before it starts happening - but you have to pay attention. Highly recommended.

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