28 user 7 critic

The Dark Past (1948)

An escaped psychopathic killer who takes the family and neighbors of police psychologist hostage reveals a recurring nightmare to the doctor.



(adaptation), (adaptation) | 4 more credits »


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Cast overview:
Dr. Andrew Collins
Laura Stevens
Owen Talbot
Berry Kroeger ...
Prof. Fred Linder
Frank Stevens
Robert Osterloh ...
Kathryn Card ...
Bobby Collins (as Bobby Hyatt)
Charles Cane ...
Robert Williams ...
Williams (as Robert B. Williams)


When a detective scoffs at his suggestion that an 18 year-old criminal be referred for psychiatric examination Dr. Andrew Collins, the police psychiatrist, tells him the story of his encounter with Al Walker. Walker had a history of violence and killed the prison warden during an escape. He and his gang took the Collins family and their friends hostage but when Dr. Collins learns that Walker has a violent recurring dream, he offers to help him decipher the dream and determine exactly what has driven him to a life of crime and violence. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


SENSATIONAL SUSPENSE DRAMA! (original print media ad - all caps)


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 April 1949 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Hearsay  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Robert Osterloh. See more »


Betty: [Referring to Stevens] How's the tough guy? Is he behaving?
Mike: He's talking business. He wants to make a deal. He thinks his life is worth money.
Betty: [Contemptuously] How much did he offer... two bucks?
See more »


Remake of Blind Alley (1939) See more »


from Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major
by Johann Sebastian Bach
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User Reviews

Do we all have a dark past?
7 December 1998 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

On a night I couldn't sleep, I came across this movie on the TV set by chance. The house of a psychiatrist is held hostage by an escaped prisoner and his entourage. The prisoner (william holden) battles his mental demons throughout the night while the psychiatrist is intrigued to discover why this man has become the "bad egg" he is today. The dialogue between them both is intriguing, with the psychiatrist trying to enter the escaped prisoner's mind and explain the dream this man has had since childhood. A good movie to watch on a rainy day. One particularly for the crime/noir buffs.

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