A man accidentally kills his fiancée as he exits a train. Just as the train pulls out, he drops her body on the rear platform. No one saw him do it, but someone does see him at the otherwise deserted station: a mischievous, freckle-faced boy. Later, he's walking along a road when the town's newspaper editor stops and gives him a lift. The editor tells his passenger that a flood has washed out the bridge. For now, there's no way out of town, so he takes the stranger to a boarding house. Fate decrees that of all houses, this is the one where the boy lives. The boy thinks he recognizes the new boarder. The new boarder thinks it's time to get rid of the boy. And a sexy blonde living at the house thinks it's time to run off with a man she knows is a murderer. Written by
Superior, low-budget, gripping Film Noir. A minor classic.
A psychic predicts that a sultry young blonde will meet with tragedy on a train...A handsome young man murders his wife, then takes refuge in a sleepy small town...A young boy witnesses the murder but keeps it a secret... The blonde, the young man, and the boy all wind up in the same boarding house, sharing close quarters, and trying to cover-up their unsettling secrets. Plot turns and twists ensue, building to a shattering, unexpected climax.
Superior, low-budget 'film noir,' quietly but steadily gripping the viewer with unusually subtle characterizations and solid acting. Amazingly "adult" for its time. The ravishing Mary Beth Hughes and the charismatic Charles Russell strike palpable erotic sparks. And the relationship between Russell and the young lad who witnessed his crime but hero-worships him all the same has implicit "homoerotic" undertones that must have eluded the napping censors.
Running a mere 52 minutes, "Inner Sanctum" was easily sandwiched into local TV stations in the late '50s in 60-minute-including-commercials slots.
It has long since disappeared into obscurity and deserves a cable-TV or VHS revival and restoral. The notion of doing an updated, R-rated remake is tempting but should be avoided. This little-known treasure is perfect just as it is.
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