A writer meets a young socialite on board a train. The two fall in love and are married soon after, but her obsessive love for him threatens to be the undoing of both them and everyone else around them.
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.
The ambitious Stanton "Stan" Carlisle works in a sideshow as carny and assistant of the mentalist Zeena Krumbein, who is married with the alcoholic Pete. The couple had developed a secret ... See full summary »
Novelist Richard Harland and socialite Ellen Berent meet on a train to New Mexico. They are immediately attracted to each other, soon fall in love and decide to get married, about which everyone they know is happy except Ellen's fiancé back home, politician Russell Quinton. However, Richard and Ellen's love for each other is different than that of the other as Ellen demonstrates in the manner which she tells everyone of their impending marriage. Ellen's love for Richard is an obsessive, possessive one, much like the love she had for her now deceased father, who Richard physically resembles. Ellen wants Richard all to herself and resents anyone who even remotely takes a place in his life and heart, even if his love for that person is not a romantic one. These people include most specifically Richard's physically disabled teen-aged brother Danny Harland, Ellen's own adopted sister Ruth Berent, and a young man neither has gotten a chance to really know yet. After time, Richard learns to ... Written by
A Technicolor noir is intrinsically a paradoxical term but this stunningly handsome melodrama which deservedly copped cinematographer Leon Shamroy a consecutive Academy Award is probably the most successful example of this anomaly within the prolific genre. Gorgeous Fox starlet Gene Tierney (who also received her sole Oscar-nomination for her efforts here) gives an excellent central performance as the pathologically jealous heroine who ensnares a chance acquaintance on a train (novelist Cornel Wilde) into marriage while summarily dismissing her current fiancée (prospective D.A. Vincent Price) via telegram. Wilde's younger brother (Darryl Hickman) is a cripple and when she finds herself having to take care of him while her hubby writes away in his cabin, she soon takes matters into her own psychotic little hands and lets the boy drown after suffering a cramp brought on by her egging to exercise himself further. The relationship between Tierney and Wilde is never the same again and he finds solace in her kind-hearted, red-headed half-sister (Jeanne Crain) who had earlier suggested that Tierney conceive a child so as to bring Wilde back to her. However, when she realizes their new-found proximity, Tierney deliberately throws herself down a staircase to lose the child. Furthermore, Tierney had had an unhealthy attachment to her late scientist father which turned the relationship with mother into a cool one; taking a trip down the cellar (where father's old mixtures are stored) on the eve of a picnic, she spikes her own food with poison but not before sending off a letter to Price incriminating Crain of her own murder!! Wilde and Crain make a handsome couple but are not overly taxed by their roles; on the other hand, Price makes the most of the juicy opportunity provided by the film's climactic trial sequence in which he grills Crain into declaring her love for Wilde and also contrives to make the latter an accessory to murder (punishable by a short imprisonment) for having withheld Tierney's confessions to him of her own evil deeds! The supporting cast also features a handful of familiar faces: Ray Collins (as Crain's guardian), Chill Wills (as Wilde's manservant) and Gene Lockhart (as the family doctor); director John M. Stahl was the Douglas Sirk of his day and handles the material with consummate skill while composer Alfred Newman lends it a quite remarkable musical backing that was oddly bypassed at the Oscars (although, truth be told, he was already being nominated for two other films that same year)!
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