The author of a perfect crime felt remorse. The protagonist, a journalist, make a business offer that will leave easy money scamming people by correspondence, at first everything seems to dream, but then begin suspicions.
Uneducated and poor, Libby lives a sheltered life in a broken down shack with her unloving parents. When a work crew of San Quentin convicts arrives to put in a new road, she takes an ... See full summary »
Two bank robbers, Cliff Banks and Sam Baker go their separate ways while being chased by the law. Now fleeing alone, Cliff begins to reflect, via flash back, the various events and unsavory... See full summary »
A plane takes off from Peru (in a long no-dialogue scene) in a storm with two passengers; it lands in Panama with one. The missing man had valuable oil-location maps; everyone who is after ... See full summary »
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>
One of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
[Wilma is dressed for a date.]
It's remarkable! Your brains don't show a bit.
See more »
Structural flaws mar suspense in Loretta Young vehicle
The twist on what we now call sexual harassment lingers as the most interesting aspect of The Accused, an innocuous suspense story with some effective moments. Another lingering aftertaste is the midcentury stereotype of the female academic that's foisted on star Loretta Young -- and the viewer.
Psychology professor Young (!), guarded and old-maidish (she's even saddled with the glamourproof name Wilma Tuttle), becomes the object of the unhealthy attentions of one of her students (Douglas Dick). On the pretext of diving for abalone shells off Malibu, he spirits her off to a secluded lover's lane one night and forces himself on her. She bashes in his skull and fakes his death to look accidental.
Then she begins to attract more attention -- from Robert Cummings, a lawyer friend of the dead boy's family (he falls for her), and Wendell Corey, a dogged homicide cop. In the acting department, there's no contest; Cummings stays his usual namby-pamby self, while Corey delivers a strong, unsentimental performance, among his best.
Much of William Dieterle's direction shows a practiced hand. Especially well handled are the opening sequence of Young fleeing the crime scene, a boxing match where she suffers a flashback, and the ghoulish reconstructions of the murder by forensic pathologist Sam Jaffe.
But a glaring structural flaw keeps The Accused lukewarm. We know from the outset that Young acted in self-defense, which pretty well leeches all the suspense out of Corey's implacable pursuit; the tightening case against her packs no impact because it's safe to assume she won't be spending any time with those harpies from Caged. Consequently the film focuses more on her emergence from a cocoon of droopy skirts, a bun in her hair, sleeping pills and swooning spells into a seductive butterfly flitting into Cummings' net.
Dick, as the young narcissist, calls to mind such amoral charmers as Robert Walker in Strangers On A Train and John Dall in Rope (a film in which Dick also appeared). It's he -- not young nor Cummings -- who supplies what faint erotic spark this movie, about a sexually-based murder, dares to kindle.
15 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?