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Steven Kenet, suffering from a recurring brain injury, appears to have strangled his wife. Having confessed, he's committed to an understaffed county asylum full of pathetic inmates. There, Dr. Ann Lorrison is initially skeptical about Kenet's story and reluctance to undergo treatment. But against her better judgement, she begins to doubt his guilt, and endangers her career on a dangerous quest through dark streets awash with rain. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The old man singing "Home on the Range" in the bathtub treatment room doesn't sing the correct lyrics. He sings "where seldom is heard a disparaging word, And the skies are cloudy all day."
And the skies are not cloudy all day. The correct lyric is "Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the skies are not cloudy all day". See more »
Robert Taylor grapples valiantly with an offbeat role that may be too much for his limited range. He has some good scenes as a World War II vet who sustained head injuries and whose return to civilian life is plagued by headaches--and worse, incarceration in a county mental hospital after he is suspected of murdering his wife. Did he do it? No way, this guy was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross, loves his young son whom he hasn't seen for two years (while flying charter places in Burma to earn bucks for an ambitious wife), and really wants to take a research fellowship (for a measly $200 bucks a month. Besides, the movie tips its hand as to the murderer's true identity before Taylor even appears.
That first glimpse of Taylor is a stunner--he's at the wheel of a car speeding out of control, an apparently dead blonde female (his wife as it turns out) at his side, his face full of madness and anguish. Unfortunately, the movie gets bogged down in dated (and superficial) psychiatry and trite glimpses of life in a mental ward. The relationship between Taylor and his psychiatrist (Audrey Totter) strains credibility, though it does push the plot forward to a fairly exciting, if not believable, conclusion. Totter is a disappointment, drab and too serious--her performance needs more of the sharp, tart personality you get from many of her other roles.
Director Curtis Bernhardt gets in a few good film noir licks here. The rain during the extended climax is effective, and the scene where hospital staff visits Taylor's mother--only to find her dead--is extraordinary.
Do a few terrific moments make this a worthwhile 98 minutes? Maybe.
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