Shock (1946)

Not Rated  |   |  Film-Noir, Thriller  |  1 February 1946 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 1,489 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 37 critic

A psychologically distraught woman is committed to a private sanitarium by the man whom she witnessed commit a murder.


(as Alfred Werker)


(screenplay), (story) (as Albert deMond) , 1 more credit »
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Director: Reginald Le Borg
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Complete credited cast:
Lynn Bari ...
Frank Latimore ...
Anabel Shaw ...
Stephen Dunne ...
Dr. Stevens (as Michael Dunne)
District Attorney O'Neill
Renee Carson ...
Miss Hatfield - Head Nurse
Charles Trowbridge ...
Dr. H.J. Harvey


Dr. Cross, a psychiatrist, is treating a young woman, Janet Stewart, who is in a coma-state, brought on when she heard loud arguing, went to her window and saw a man strike his wife with a candlestick and kill her. As she comes out of her shock, she recognizes Dr. Cross as the killer. He takes her to his sanitarium and urged by his nurse/lover, Elaine Jordan, gives Janet an overdose of insulin. But he can't bring himself to murder her in cold blood and asks Elaine to get the medicine to save her. She refuses, they argue, and he strangles her. He saves Janet's life, but now faces two murder charges. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He never dreamed what it would all lead to...and she didn't care !


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 February 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Morte Veste-se de Branco  »

Box Office


$375,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Newcomer Coleen Gray was initially set to play a role. She even borrowed a costume from Betty Grable which she used in Diamond Horseshoe (1945) for the film. See more »


Elaine Jordan: You've got a headache. I can tell from your eyes.
Dr. Richard Cross: Yes, it's bursting.
See more »


Edited into Schlock! (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Psychiatric villainy in an old-dark-house sanitarium, starring evildoers Price and Bari
14 September 2002 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

At first, Shock looks like it should be assigned to the `Oneiric' Wing of forties film noir, but soon comes to occupy a niche in the Evil Psychiatry Wing instead. Anabel Shaw checks into a San Francisco Hotel awaiting her serviceman husband. Bad weather has delayed him, so, instead of curling up with a cozy mystery, she witnesses a murder from the balcony of her suite. Next morning, her husband finds her in a state of complete catatonia. A psychiatrist (Vincent Price) is summoned, who turns out to be none other than the murderer.

Checking sight angles from the balcony to his apartment across the way, Price realizes that Shaw's trancelike state no doubt stems from her seeing him take a candlestick to his older, inconvenient wife. He whisks her off to that chamber of horrors, his Private Sanitarium, to find out what she remembers. He and his accomplice/mistress Lynn Bari devise a scheme to make Shaw, and everyone else, think she's delusional – that she views everyone as a murderer. Meanwhile, however, a fluke of circumstance leads the police to reopen the case of Price's wife, whose death had been contrived to look accidental. Next, Price and Bari escalate their therapy to dangerous insulin-shock treatments....

Price glides through his role with the disdainful urbanity that was his trademark in the morning of his career; interestingly, though, the plot turns on his having some shreds of conscience, or at least professional ethics, after all. The same can't be said of Bari as the Lady Macbeth of the piece; what can be said is that there should be more of her. She hits her peak during a violent nocturnal thunderstorm, when a menacing patient slips out of his room and into Shaw's. It really does turn the sanitarium into a chamber of horrors.

23 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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