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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 <email@example.com>
The Accused is directed by William Dieterle and adapted to screenplay by Ketti Frings from the novel "Be Still, My Love" written by June Truesdell. It stars Loretta Young, Robert Cummings, Wendell Corey, Sam Jaffe and Douglas Dick. Music is by Victor Young and cinematography by Milton R. Krasner.
Wilma Tuttle (Young) is a college professor who is prompted into an act of self defence when one of her students attacks her sexually. The damage done, Wilma covers up her crime and finds her conscience gnawing away at her, especially as she is actively involved in the police investigation
Good sturdy story is well played out by a good sturdy cast, The Accused makes up for what it lacks in noir visuals with noir infected psychological smarts. Helps that Wilma Tuttle is a strong characterisation in Young's excellent hands, the whole film hinging on the fact that Wilma's crime is perfectly understandable to us viewers, she has our sympathy, more so since she has the chance of love with Cumming's amiable and cunning lawyer.
We follow the police investigation through its various strands of science, with Wilma privy to what is going on as well. This puts a devilish kink to proceedings as Lieutenant Ted Dorgan (Corey) is pretty sure he knows what really happened (an inquest had previously ruled the death as an accident caused whilst diving).
Further spice comes with the knowledge that Dorgan also has the hots for Wilma, thus this puts Wilma in a whirlpool of fear and fret, conscience battering and the amorous attentions of two male suitors, both of whom are intricately bound to the investigation. Plus she's trying to keep it together at work whilst she's teaching her students psychology!
It all builds to a good conclusion, which is nicely open ended, to round production out as an entertaining noirish meller. 7/10
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