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

Approved  |   |  Crime, Thriller  |  8 January 1950 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 972 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


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

8 January 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Hidden Room  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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 Ken Adam: Designing Bond (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent dark thriller
12 August 2009 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

Obsession is adapted from a book by Alec Coppel (who also wrote the screenplay) and is yet another film based on the idea of a man in search of 'the perfect murder'. The film takes on a dark noir tone and the film focuses on both the story at hand, as well as the psychology of the lead character. The lead character is Dr. Clive Riordan; a prominent psychologist. He's an articulate and intelligent man and so when he discovers his wife is having a string of affairs right under his nose, he decides to do something about it, by way of shocking her into not having any more affairs. He drops in on his wife one night while she is enjoying an evening with a lover - an American named Bill Kronin - and holds the two of them at gunpoint. After humiliating his wife; she leaves the room, while he and the American leave shortly afterwards. The American then disappears; the wife believes her husband has murdered the man as he promised he would, but the truth is much more sinister as the psychologist goes in pursuit of the perfect murder.

The lead role is taken by Robert Newton, who makes for an excellent lead. His portrayal of the central character is thoroughly captivating, and much of the film's success is owed to this. The film also benefits from an excellent script, which really makes the characters seem real and provides some excellent lines of dialogue - a scene between the lead character a police officer over the varying skills of the police and murderers is a major highlight. The plot itself flows very well as the film moves along and more than does enough to hold the audience's attention; the psychologist's musings over his theories on how to commit the perfect crime are one of the main points of interest. The atmosphere of the film is very dark and director Edward Dmytryk lays style on very thick which is of great benefit to the story, which is very dark itself. Things get very tense as we near the ending and the end itself is strong and gives good closure to the story. Overall, Obsession is a great thriller and well worth the effort of tracking down. Highly recommended!

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