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The Hidden Room (1949)
"Obsession" (original title)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Thriller  |  8 January 1950 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 959 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 9 critic

Clive Riordan plans a devilish revenge against his wife's lover.



(book), (screenplay)
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Complete credited cast:
Phil Brown ...
Sally Gray ...
Storm Riordan
Naunton Wayne ...
Supt. Finsbury
James Harcourt ...
Aitkin (butler)
Betty Cooper ...
Miss Stevens (receptionist)
Michael Balfour ...
American sailor
Ronald Adam ...
Roddy Hughes ...
Allan Jeayes ...
Olga Lindo ...
Mrs. Humphries
Russell Waters ...
Flying Squad detective
Lyonel Watts ...
Clubman (as Lionel Watts)
Sam Kydd ...
Club steward
Monty the Dog ...
Monty - Storm's Dog


London psychiatrist Clive Riordan, royally fed up with the repeated affairs of his wife Storm, plots a seemingly 'perfect' revenge against her latest lover, American Bill Kronin. Catching them in the act, he marches Bill off at gunpoint; and from the viewpoint of Storm and the rest of the world, Bill simply vanishes. But there's far more to the meticulously worked out plot than Clive's victims suspect, with the end slowly preparing in his private laboratory. Enter a mild-mannered Scotland Yard man, who seemingly has no clue beyond a missing dog... Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Whose eye could see... Whose ear could hear... Whose mind could know... the Secret! See more »


Crime | Thriller


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Release Date:

8 January 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Hidden Room  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The inspector's pipe jumps from his mouth to his hand as he departs the doctor's garage. See more »


Dr. Clive Riordan: Are you married, Mr. Finsbury?
Supt. Finsbury: No... I've often thought about it. Trouble is, I've thought about it so long, I'm afraid I've missed the bus.
Dr. Clive Riordan: Just one of life's little jokes, isn't it?... It points out our mistakes too late for us to profit by them.
See more »


Referenced in Destination Murder (1950) See more »

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User Reviews

For the young among us who only know Robert Newton as Long John Silver, his role as the psychiatrist in The Hidden Room aka Obsession is a revelation!
29 August 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have only just found this wonderful place to talk about films and I am thrilled to read that so many love The Hidden Room, as Obsession is called here, as much as I do.

Robert Newton has always been one of my favorite actors and it pleases me no end to discover his name on this thread.

When Newton made this film he was still interested in acting and it shows. There are subtle things that he does that are the hallmark of a great actor. His natural kindness comes through as well as his intelligence. You believe he really is this successful London psychiatrist with a wife who wanders.

The opening shot in the film establishes his character. There is tension in his casual posture at the card table. The viewer realizes that here is a man with his mind somewhere else. A troubled man, but one in perfect control of his surface emotions. Newton establishes in just a few shots a complex personality, a man capable of many actions.

Later there is a scene with the deaf butler that is both nerve-racking and sad.

My favorite scene is when he comes to visit his captive to bring him food. The way he instinctively walks just an inch beyond the reach of Bill. He is a tantalizing target for his victim, but just, just out of reach. To me a brilliant scene. A later, equally brilliant scene features the dog.

Another scene with many levels is the model train scene. Again as brilliant as anything Hitchcock ever presented to a viewer. As most of you know, Newton was in a very early Hitchcock film, Jamaica Inn. The Hidden Room is MUCH better.

Every chance I get, I show this film to friends, and without exception they say it is one of the best and most intense films they have ever seen. They wonder why it isn't better known. I have no answer to that. I am just grateful that I can visit that Hidden Room in the bombed-out building whenever I wish for some genuine chills.

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