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Beware, My Lovely (1952)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 958 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 5 critic

A psychopath takes a job as a handyman at the house of a lonely widow.

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(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Title: Beware, My Lovely (1952)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Mrs. Helen Gordon
...
Taylor Holmes ...
Mr. Walter Armstrong
Barbara Whiting ...
Ruth Williams
James Willmas ...
Mr. Stevens
O.Z. Whitehead ...
Mr. Franks
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Storyline

Helen Gordon hires Howard Wilton as a handyman to do chores around her house. She doesn't know what she's let herself in for. Insecure and paranoid, Wilton thinks everyone, including Helen, is against him. He suffers from memory lapses and extreme mood swings. She's soon a prisoner in her own house after Wilton locks the doors and tears out the telephone. His mood swings from violence to complacency but after Helen gets a message to the police via a telephone repairman, she finds he is still in the house. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Trapped by a man beyond control!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 August 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Day Without End  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In one of the very first scenes where he is cleaning up and calling to Mrs. Warren, the sink is leaking; he ignores it as he goes about cleaning the bucket, etc. See more »

Goofs

When Helen backs away from Howard after he discovers the secret message on the check, the shadow of a crew member is cast all over Helen's back, and is seen holding his hand to his head, then putting it down. See more »

Connections

Version of Suspense: Goodbye New York (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

Deck the Halls
(uncredited)
Traditional Christmas carol
The neighborhood children are singing the song in Helen's parlor
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Schizophrenia
10 November 2009 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Beware My Lovely originated from a play written by Mel Dinelli who apparently liked writing about frightened women. His first and best effort was the screenplay for The Spiral Staircase. He also did a Loretta Young suspense thriller Cause For Alarm a couple of years earlier. The play Dinelli wrote was originally entitled The Man and it ran for 92 performances on Broadway during the 1950 season. It was Dinelli's only effort on Broadway and it starred Dorothy Gish and Richard Boone.

The roles that Gish and Boone played are taken by Ida Lupino and Robert Ryan. For whatever reason RKO thought to eliminate the age difference. Dinelli himself rewrote his play for the screen so I'm wondering what he thought about that. Certainly the frailty issue was eliminated completely from the story.

That wasn't the only thing that was eliminated. The people are all wearing period clothing from around World War I yet there's no reference at all to the time this story takes place in. I thought that strange and later on when the telephone company repairman comes to Ida Lupino's residence, I noticed his truck was a vintage one of the same era.

The film is almost entirely set within Ida Lupino's home where she's hired an itinerant stranger in Robert Ryan as a handyman. The film is a great object lesson in not hiring strangers without reference. It turns out that Ryan is a schizophrenic who imprisons Lupino in her home for about a day.

Both the leads do fine jobs even with the changes made. Films like Beware My Lovely are the stuff that a small studio like RKO did best. If this were done at MGM or Paramount the glossy trappings would have overwhelmed a solid story.


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