7.2/10
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House by the River (1950)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 25 March 1950 (USA)
A deranged writer murders a maid after she resists his advances. The writer engages his brother's help in hiding the body, and then watches as the brother becomes the prime suspect.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
John Byrne
...
Marjorie Byrne
Dorothy Patrick ...
Emily Gaunt
...
Mrs. Ambrose
Jody Gilbert ...
Flora Bantam
...
Harry - Coroner
Howland Chamberlain ...
District Attorney
Margaret Seddon ...
Mrs. Whittaker - Party Guest
...
Mrs. Beach
...
Effie Ferguson - Party Guest
...
Inspector Sarten
Leslie Kimmell ...
Mr. Gaunt
Effie Laird ...
Mrs. Gaunt
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Storyline

The unsuccessful writer Stephen Byrne tries to force his servant Emily Gaunt sexually while his wife Marjorie Byrne is visiting a friend and accidentally strangles her. His crippled brother John Byrne coincidently comes to his house in that moment, and Stephen asks him to help to get rid of the corpse and avoid an scandal, since his wife would be pregnant. The naive and good John helps his brother to dump the body in the river nearby his house. Stephen uses the disappearance of Emily to blame her and promote his book. When the body is found by the police, all the evidences points to John, and he becomes the prime suspect of the murder. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

writer | murder | maid | river | death | See All (58) »

Taglines:

WOMEN SPOKE OF HER with Scorn...MEN THOUGHT OF HER with Longing! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 March 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Floodtide  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fritz Lang originally wanted a black woman to play the role of Emily Gaunt but the producers refused. See more »

Quotes

John Byrne: Stephen... I can't go through with this.
Stephen Byrne: You promised to stay up there.
John Byrne: Listen to me. The only thing to do is go to the police. Tell then exactly how it happened. It was an accident.
Stephen Byrne: But, they'll never believe me. Even you don't believe me!
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User Reviews

 
One of the Most Despicable Characters I Have Ever Seen
10 January 2007 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

The unsuccessful writer Stephen Byrne (Louis Hayward) tries to force his servant Emily Gaunt (Dorothy Patrick) sexually while his wife Marjorie Byrne (Jane Wyatt) is visiting a friend and accidentally strangles her. His crippled brother John Byrne (Lee Bowman) coincidently comes to his house in that moment, and Stephen asks him to help to get rid of the corpse and avoid an scandal, since his wife would be pregnant. The naive and good John helps his brother to dump the body in the river nearby his house. Stephen uses the disappearance of Emily to blame her and promote his book. When the body is found by the police, all the evidences points to John, and he becomes the prime suspect of the murder.

"House by the River" is a dark and tense movie with one of the most despicable characters I have ever seen. Louis Hayward is perfect in the role of a scum, capable of killing, defaming, lying, falsely accusing, and maintaining cold blood. Jane Wyatt and Lee Bowman complete the efficient trio of lead cast. Fritz Lang uses with mastery the shadows and lights in the black and white cinematography as usual. The story is very tense, but the conclusion is very abrupt and quite conventional, moralist and commercial. In my opinion, this excellent film deserved a darker and amoral ending to become another masterpiece of this outstanding director. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Maldição" ("Curse")


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