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Wilma Tuttle, psychology professor, lets aggressively brash student Bill Perry drive her home. Big mistake. After an attempted rape, Perry is dead; panicked, Wilma hides her traces and flees. As time passes, she watches the investigations of Homicide Lt. Dorgan with painfully concealed apprehension. Complicating matters: her budding romance with Warren Ford, Perry's guardian. How long can she stand the strain? Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tepid melodrama seems quaint by today's standards...
At the time of release, THE ACCUSED was probably considered a daring story for Hollywood to tackle--a teacher about to be assaulted by a student kills him rather than being subjected to rape. The prim schoolteacher is played by LORETTA YOUNG with all her virginal modesty bolstered by wearing her hair in a bun with Peter Pan collars adorning her neckline.
Rather than confess to her crime, she tries to conceal it from the prying eyes of detective WENDELL COREY and lawyer friend ROBERT CUMMINGS. Both of these actors have given stronger performances in other films but apparently neither one had their interest in these roles heightened by a lackluster script.
Slowly, the film tries to build suspense until a final courtroom scene, but by that time the tale has lost a lot of its credibility and the characters are so poorly etched that you won't care that much about the outcome.
Young is as pretty as ever but her role has no depth and what should have been a taut exercise in suspense has been turned into a mushy romantic drama rather than a gripping film noir.
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