House by the River (1950)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  25 March 1950 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,847 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 22 critic

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.



(screenplay), (novel)
0Check in

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video




Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a lovely wife and her new husband, settle in an ancient mansion on the East coast, she discovers he may want to kill her.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Joan Bennett, Michael Redgrave, Anne Revere
Human Desire (1954)
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Korean War vet returns to his job as a railroad engineer and becomes involved in a sordid affair with a co-worker's wife and murder.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Broderick Crawford
Adventure | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In WW2, the Allies race against time to persuade two nuclear scientists working for the Nazis to switch sides.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Gary Cooper, Robert Alda, Lilli Palmer
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A serial killer has been killing beautiful women in New York, and the new owner of a media company offers a high ranking job to the 1st administrator who can get the earliest scoops on the case.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Dana Andrews, Rhonda Fleming, George Sanders
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Stephen Neale has just been released from an asylum during World War 2 in England when he stumbles on a deadly Nazi spy plot by accident, and tries to stop it.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Ray Milland, Marjorie Reynolds, Carl Esmond
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Mae Doyle comes back to her hometown a cynical woman. Her brother Joe fears that his love, fish cannery worker Peggy, may wind up like Mae. Mae marries Jerry and has a baby; she is happy but restless, drawn to Jerry's friend Earl.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Ryan, Paul Douglas
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A telephone operator ends up drunk and at the mercy of a cad in his apartment. The next morning she wakes up with a hangover and the terrible fear she may be a murderess.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Anne Baxter, Richard Conte, Ann Sothern
Man Hunt (1941)
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

British hunter Thorndike vacationing in Bavaria has Hitler in his gun sight. He is captured, beaten, left for dead, and escapes back to London where he is hounded by German agents and aided by a young woman.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Joan Bennett, George Sanders
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A western based on the story "Gunsight Whitman" by Silvia Richards. Vern Haskell, a nice rancher, seeks out to avenge his fiancé's death when she is killed during a robbery. His revenge ... See full summary »

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Arthur Kennedy, Mel Ferrer
Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A novelist aided by his future father-in-law conspires to frame himself in the murder of a stripper as part of an effort to ban capital punishment.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Dana Andrews, Joan Fontaine, Sidney Blackmer
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Reporter Peter Barter gets murdered while driving to his tv station. Commisioner Kras gets a phone call from clairvoyant Cornelius who saw Barters death in a vision. But a dark force ... See full summary »

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Dawn Addams, Peter van Eyck, Gert Fröbe
Moonfleet (1955)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Moonfleet is set in Dorset, England. The Fleet refers to the land just west of Portland, Southern England.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Stewart Granger, George Sanders, Joan Greenwood


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


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) »


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


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 March 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Floodtide  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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


John Byrne: You must be very, very ill Stephen...
Stephen Byrne: Ill?
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Cold-blooded and callous murder and a flawed cover-up
11 August 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

House by the River (1950)

A straight up Gothic murder scenario with echoes of the 1945 "Spiral Staircase." A family with two brothers at odds with each other is living in a house and one of them is a murderer. And at first only the audience knows who. Their relative isolation on the banks of a wide river means only that they will have little help when danger occurs. The neighbors and police and few and far.

Louis Hayward plays the main character, Stephen Byrne, a writer and a bit of a self-important cad. Hayward has an odd style on film during this era, attractive and likable at first, but with an acerbic humor and some kind of unworkable stiffness, as if you know he's always performing. But he's clever about it, and when you realize he isn't meant to be exactly lovable, he's pretty well cast. Byrne's brother, wife, and maid all come through with solid if uninspired performances, and you wonder exactly what held everyone back. Fritz Lang has many more successful melodramas than this one.

I think the weakness is largely the raw material, the story itself, which is a bit straight forward. One brother commits a murder, the other is drawn into helping cover it up, and then the tensions build between them as an inquest raises questions. It has moments, but there are no further twists that work. The ending is out of character, almost comical in its false (and unlikely) horror.

Along the way, though, are a series of nice scenes, inside the house at night, along the river at night, at a party meant to hide the killer's guilt, and so on. The music is especially helpful in jabbing the audience at key moments. American Georges Antheil was a composer famous for his avant-garde pieces in the 1920s in Europe before settling into a Hollywood routine. You can detect, and appreciate, the edge he brings to the score. The photography by contrast is good without rising up to the possibilities of these kinds of settings--the house, the river, the dock, all have more dramatic potential that we just don't see.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The pencil that rolls off the desk Stuart Gardner
copy of 'house by the river' jude-thadd
Which Fritz Lang Film Should I Watch Next marhefka
Film Noir Style smugrr
Discuss House by the River (1950) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: