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Cry Wolf (1947)

 -  Crime | Drama | Mystery  -  19 August 1947 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 649 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 5 critic

Recently widowed Sandra Demerast arrives at the isolated home of her late husband for his wake, but his two half-brothers will not allow her to view the corpse.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: Cry Wolf (1947)

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Director: James V. Kern
Stars: Errol Flynn, Eleanor Parker, Lucile Watson


Complete credited cast:
Mark Caldwell
Sandra Marshall
Geraldine Brooks ...
Julie Demarest
James Caldwell Demarest
Jerome Cowan ...
Sen. Charles Caldwell
John Ridgely ...
Jackson Laidell
Angela, Maid (as Patricia White)
Rory Mallinson ...
Becket, Butler
Helene Thimig ...
Marta, Housekeeper (as Helen Thimig)
Paul Stanton ...
Barry Bernard ...
Roberts (Groom)


Sandra Demarest arrives at the Caldwell estate, and announces to Mark Caldwell that she was secretly married to his nephew James, who recently died. Mark does not believe her, but allows her to remain at the manor while a search is made for a missing will that would prove her claim. Sandra befriends James' sister, Julie, who tells of strange noises and agonized screams from the laboratory wing of the estate. Between verbal duels with Mark, Sandra secretly investigates the lab and learns that ominous things really are happening. Written by Mike Rogers <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The howl in the night is the voice of danger.


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

19 August 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cry Wolf  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Dennis Morgan was considered before Errol Flynn was ultimately cast. See more »


Mark Caldwell: I don't know what plans you have in that devious feminine mind of yours, but if you're trying to enlist Julie's sympathy, don't do it.
Sandra Marshall: And if i ignore your advice?
Mark Caldwell: I shall kick you out!
See more »


Referenced in Law & Order: Cry Wolf (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

Errol Flynn's attempt at film noir
31 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I think it is generally acknowledged that Errol Flynn's best film work was in those films that combined his charm and his athletic abilities, be they swashbucklers, boxing films, or westerns. But as he got older Flynn was determined to prove his acting abilities. He could act when he was generally interested in the film he appeared in, but he was frequently willing to try to do a film that was unusual. This did not always work too well. He made such interesting failures as THE SISTERS with Bette Davis, where he was a newspaper reporter in turn of the century San Francisco, who had a wanderjahr that interfered with his marriage. The film wasn't bad, but his part was weak - the antithesis of the type he usually played so well. In the late 1940s to 1950 he tried three films to broaden his scope of acting: CRY WOLF, THAT FORSYTE WOMAN, and SILVER RIVER. Only the last one, a western where he played a man who was carried away by ambitious and greed so that he becomes relatively unsympathetic, was successful. THAT FORSYTE WOMAN (with Greer Garson and Walter Pigeon) was interesting (Flynn as Soames Forsythe was interesting casting, but he was too stiff - Eric Porter's memorable Soames in the first BBC version of the Galsworthy stories in the 1960s was far more human). CRY WOLF, the present film, was Flynn's only real attempt at the noir style of movie. As such it begins well, but collapses due to a poor script.

Barbara Stanwyck has married Richard Basehart, the nephew of Flynn, before the movie began. Flynn, Basehart, Jerome Cowan, and Geraldine Brooks are the scions of a "Kennedy" style family, with money and political power (Cowan is a U.S. Senator). But Basehart has vanished, and Stanwyck, besides trying to prove her marriage, is determined to find her husband. And here she keeps running into Flynn's suspicious behavior. He seems very unsympathetic to her wishes, and quite cold most of the time. As for helping her locate Basehart, he keeps on throwing up roadblocks.

The problem is that having set a good stage for a film which would have been confronting Stanwyck's heroine with Flynn's villain, the script fell apart. It turns out Flynn is interested in protecting the family's name and it's members from outside scrutiny. In particular Basehart and Brooks, who are somewhat strange. This change in the script was meant to enable Stanwick and Flynn to gradually fall in love and end up together, but it smashed the suspense that such a film should generate, and it ruined Flynn from having a potentially interesting negative part. Actually his performance in SILVER RIVER was far more consistent, and even his Soames retains the audience's lack of sympathy to the end. In CRY WOLF the audience gets confused - should we hiss Flynn or cheer him on? It would have been better all around if the screenplay writers had let us hiss him to the end.

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