Pete and Ellen have reared Meg as their own, ever since she was a baby and her parents took off. Now a teen, Meg convinces her friend Nath to come help with chores on the farm: Pete isn't getting around on his wooden leg like he used to. When Nath insists on using a short cut home through the woods, Pete gets quite agitated and warns him of screams in the night, of terrors associated with the red house. Curious, Meg and Nath ignore his warnings and begin exploring. Meg begins falling in love with Nath, but his girlfriend Tibby has other plans for him. Meanwhile they all get closer to real danger and the dark secret of the red house. Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
This film-noir may look like a B-film, but it contains two powerful pieces of work, that of actor Edward G. Robinson and composer Miklos Rozsa.
A strange tale, "The Red House" benefits from one of Robinson's most flavorful performances, as a man harboring a dark secret past which returns to haunt him. Ably supporting Robinson is the strong Judith Anderson as the sister, the fine Lon McCallister as a callow but earnest youth, and the striking Rory Calhoun in one of his most impressive roles.
Directed in a somewhat standard fashion by Delmer Davis, interest is maintained by uniformly strong performances, and an extensive, full orchestral score by Miklos Rozsa. As in countless other films, Rozsa, inspired by Ravel (and the generic Debussy) weaves a wall-to-wall tapestry of psychological tension, further raising this enactment above its ordinary production design.
Devotees of Robinson can enjoy their favorite actor in his 53rd film, made at the peak of his powers. His unique film presence boasted a career of 99 films in 57 years, which was preceded by a 15-year stint on the New York stage. Robinson proved that one doesn't have to be unusually handsome to be a star, nor be relegated to minor character parts. Indeed, Robinson played leads in countless classics, with nary a weak performance. Few actors can make that claim.
The DVD transfer is not a restored print, and contains several stretches of poor audio and scratchy images. On a series called, "Hollywood Tough Guys," put out by Madacy Entertainment, one can still be grateful that "The Red House" is available, as respresentative of both Robinson's and Rozsa's unique contribution to film.
34 of 37 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?