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Inner Sanctum (1948)

6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 396 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 5 critic

A man fleeing the police after having committed a murder hides out in a boarding house in a small town.

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(original screenplay) (as Jerome Todd Gollard)
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Title: Inner Sanctum (1948)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charles Russell ...
Mary Beth Hughes ...
Dale Belding ...
Mike Bennett
Billy House ...
McFee
Fritz Leiber ...
Dr. Valonius
Nana Bryant ...
Mrs. Mitchell
Lee Patrick ...
Ruth Bennett
Roscoe Ates ...
Willie
Eddie Parks ...
Barney
Eve Miller ...
Marie Kembar
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Storyline

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 J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

GREAT ON THE AIR! - THRILLING AS A BEST SELLER! - A SENSATION AS A NEW MOTION PICTURE MYSTERY that MAKES HISTORY! See more »


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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 October 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Reise ins Verderben  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »

Quotes

Harold Dunlap: There's no sense in scaring the boy.
Ruth Bennett: He should be scared. I'm scared with him alone heaven knows where. If scaring will scare him, he should be scared.
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User Reviews

 
Any more news about the gal who had her heart manicured?
19 June 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Inner Sanctum is directed by Lew Landers and written by Jerome T. Gollard. It stars Charles Russell, Mary Beth Hughes, Dale Belding, Billy House, Fritz Leiber, Nana Bryant and Lee Patrick. Music is by Leon Klatzkin and cinematography by Allen G. Siegler.

A psychic tells a woman, Marie Kembar (Eve Miller), a story on board a train. He tells of a man, Harold Dunlap (Russell), who after killing a woman makes his way into town and finds he can't leave after a flood renders all residents confined to the area. Taking lodgings in a boarding house, Dunlap finds he is sharing a room with the only witness to his crime...

Clocking in at just over an hour in length, Inner Sanctum is very much in the vein of a quintessential "B" programmer. Part noir suspenser, part Twilight Zone mystery, it's a quirky little picture that manages to blend off-kilter humour with genuine tenseness. Starting off with the ambiguously filmed killing of a woman, who is then unceremoniously dumped on the observation platform of a departing train, the film then unravels in small town Americana in a manner befitting Hitchcock. Enter a group of colourful/eccentric/shifty characters in one boarding house and the story explodes in to an array of fakes, fancies, vagaries of fate, youthful innocence and dangerous sexual attractions. All filmed in a deliberately noir style of murky shades and half lights.

The production value is inevitably low, but it works in the narrative's favour. The acting is a mixed bag, but there is nothing here to hurt the flow or feel of the picture. Standing out are Russell (The Purple Heart) who is wonderfully sly and cunning, Patrick (The Maltese Falcon/Mildred Pierce) who plays the harried mother role with verve and doting dominance, and young Belding has the requisite amount of bratty boyishness and confused innocence. But best of the bunch is Hughes (The Great Flamarion/The Ox-Bow Incident), who slinks her way through the movie making moves on Dunlap even when she knows what he has done! Yes she's that desperate to thrive on danger and get out of this small town nowhereville. This characterisation is just one of the many pessimistic touches that help to make Inner Sanctum a rewarding experience. Killer ending as well! 7/10


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