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The Scarf (1951)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 170 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 1 critic

John Barrington escapes from an asylum for the criminally-insane and finds refuge on the ranch of turkey-raiser Ezra Thompson. Barrington, who has suffered from amnesia, finds his memory ... See full summary »

Director:

(as E.A. Dupont)

Writers:

(story), (story), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Scarf (1951)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
John Howard Barrington
...
Connie Carter
James Barton ...
Ezra Thompson
Emlyn Williams ...
Dr. David Dunbar
Lloyd Gough ...
Asylum Dr. Gordon
Basil Ruysdael ...
Cyrus Barrington
David Wolfe ...
Level Louie
Harry Shannon ...
Asylum Warden Anderson
...
Mrs. Cyrus Barrington
...
State Trooper (as Dave McMahon)
Chubby Johnson ...
Feed Store Manager
Frank Jenks ...
Tom - Drunk cowboy
Emmett Lynn ...
Jack the Waiter
Dick Wessel ...
Sid - Drunk cowboy
Frank Jaquet ...
Town Sheriff
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Storyline

John Barrington escapes from an asylum for the criminally-insane and finds refuge on the ranch of turkey-raiser Ezra Thompson. Barrington, who has suffered from amnesia, finds his memory returning slightly and he sets out on his mission of learning the truth about whether or not he really murdered his sweetheart and is actually insane. He goes to Los Angeles to visit his oldest-and-best friend, psychiatrist David Dunbar, who was a witness to Barrington's crime. Dunbar repeats his story to Barrington, convinces Barrington that he did commit the crime, and then betrays him to the police. However, Thompson, Connie Carter and others are not totally convinced of Barrington's guilt. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 April 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Dungeon  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Ezra Thompson: Of all noises, I think music is the least disagreable one, don't you?
See more »

Soundtracks

Summer Rains
Written by Sammy John DeFazio, Herschel Burke Gilbert (uncredited)
Charles Milton Daniel and Gilbert Hugh Hall
Sung by Mercedes McCambridge (dubbed by ?)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
What a strange little film, and fun and dramatic and worth every minute
31 March 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Scarf (1951)

A peculiar but sometimes charming movie, filled with empty moments, people sitting and talking, the wind whistling through trees in the desert, and a possible killer on the loose. The best parts for me were the odd pairing of a loner woman played by Mercedes McCambridge and the leading man on the run, John Barrington (John Ireland). Later, both of these characters appear in different places, sometimes crossing paths. McCambridge is a sharp, funny, slightly tragic actress, and Ireland is a super sweet guy. They make a surprising pair.

The setting for all this is a nice little village on the edge of the desert, and a dry turkey farm out of town. As Barrington suffers with his guilt and doubts about having committed a murder (strangling someone with a scarf), he bounces from place to place, just barely avoiding trouble. People are rough and Barrington can't get his head together, but he plugs along, butting against McCambridge at times, and the tensions grows before you realize it.

It isn't quite a Hitchcockian innocent man on the loose. We doubt him, too. We are unravelling the problem as they go. It isn't always a remarkable unfolding of events, but it has remarkable moments, and a strange, spare mood that is possessing. At first I almost stopped watching it because it was a bit clumsy and raw, but that becomes smoother and more essential over time. Eventually it becomes downright idiosyncratic in the best ways, just on the happy edge of weird. There's even a barroom scene with McCambridge singing a simple blues song, pretty amazingly.

The plot takes on some forced twists toward the end, but they are still dramatic ones. "The doctor is allergic to irrelevant laughter."


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