6.4/10
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28 user 8 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.

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Writers:

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

Cast overview:
...
...
...
Dr. Andrew Collins
...
Laura Stevens
...
Owen Talbot
...
...
Mike
...
Prof. Fred Linder
...
Frank Stevens
Robert Osterloh ...
Pete
Kathryn Card ...
Nora
...
Bobby Collins (as Bobby Hyatt)
...
Agnes
Charles Cane ...
Sheriff
...
Williams (as Robert B. Williams)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 April 1949 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Hearsay  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Robert Osterloh. See more »

Quotes

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?
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Connections

Remake of Blind Alley (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
One-dimensional social comment film packaged as a crime drama to lure in the unconvinced.
25 July 2000 | by (Isle of Man) – See all my reviews

Preachy story explaining why juveniles turn to crime because of the failure of the system.

Lee J.Cobb is a crime psychologist with a conscience, who is taken prisoner at his weekend retreat by notorious bad boy Al Walker ( William Holden ). While Cobb's guests are guarded by Walker's accomplices, the two form an uneasy truce. This results in Cobb analysing Walker's recurring nightmare, which frees him from his torment and exorcises his vendetta against society. His crimes are traced back to his childhood and lack of parental guidance. The 'message' is conveniently simplistic for the less demanding viewer - society helps create criminals in the way that young offenders are treated by the authorities, and that criminal behaviour in some cases should be treated as an illness not a crime.

While few would dispute there is some truth in this, the film thrusts this idea clumsily and implausibly. 'The Dark Past' is basically dull. Totally forgettable were it not for the presence of the two leads who acquit themselves adequately with the poor material.


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