While waiting on a delayed flight, David Trask, who has left his unfaithful wife, meets three of his fellow passengers. When the aircraft crashes, he is one of few survivors, and sets out to resolve their unfinished business.
A Royal navy Commander is tricked by a pretty girl who is working for the Nazis. She tricks him into revealing some military secrets and he is court-martialed. He vows to track her and her ... See full summary »
Bedelia, a newly remarried beautiful widow, is on honeymoon in Monte Carlo. A painter approaches her inquiring about her past. When she and her husband go back to England the artist will soon be there. Danger, crime and truth will follow.
Barry K. Barnes
A paroled convict who bears a striking resemblance to the local District Attorney is hired by the mob to impersonate him, while the real District Attorney is kidnapped and held captive at a secret location.
During WWII several murders occur at a convalescent home where Dr. Watson has volunteered his services. He summons Holmes for help and the master detective proceeds to solve the crime from ... See full summary »
Super ambiance, dark and clever stuff, nothing brilliant beyond the visuals
The Madonna's Secret (1946)
A psycho-mystery that broods and clunks along pretty well but too much a twist on a twist kind of movie. In fact, it's so obvious that the main character, a tortured artist, is suspected from the first minute, you know something else is up. What you don't suspect is what, and so by the end there is that final twist. I suppose this should or could have been a Vincent Price Gothic chiller, but in the hands of the leading man, Francis Lederer, it's a dark and serious affair. No camp allowed.
This comes near the end of director William Thiele's B-movie career (followed by a slew of Lone Ranger t.v. episodes and then, a step sideways for 36 shows of Cavalcade of America, a staple of 1950s American middlebrow normalcy). So we might be glad the movie is as good as it is, and I think the main reason is ace cinematographer John Alton. There are subtle movements of the camera that make an ordinary conversation take on depth, at least in terms of mise-en-scene. And the truly dramatic lighting (including some obvious back projection stuff of Lederer speeding in a boat at night) is great just to watch.
The series of women who pose and/or get themselves killed is curious--they do all look the same at a glance--and might have been more fun if extended a bit more. That is, they are all relatively cardboard characters, including the main character, who can't get out of his angst filled cliché, and so we can't really get involved emotionally in their fates. We just watch. And so thank you Mr. Alton for making that watching worth the ride. If you don't give a hoot about lights and camera, give this a by.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this