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Beware, My Lovely (1952)

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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 865 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 5 critic

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



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

Beware, My Lovely (1952) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Complete credited cast:
Mrs. Helen Gordon
Taylor Holmes ...
Mr. Walter Armstrong
Barbara Whiting ...
Ruth Williams
James Willmas ...
Mr. Stevens
O.Z. Whitehead ...
Mr. Franks
Dee Pollock ...
Doug, Grocery Boy (as Dee Pollack)
Brad Morrow ...
Jimmy Mobley ...
Jimmy, Boy
Shelly Lynn Anderson ...
Ronnie Patterson ...
Jeanne Eggenweiler ...
Jeanne, Girl


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


Trapped by a man beyond control!


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

7 August 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Day Without End  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This story was later redone in 1960 on the NBC TV series "Startime," titled "The Man" (the name of the 1950 Mel Dinelli play the movie was based on) it starred Thelma Ritter and Audie Murphy. See more »


In the opening scene, the first shot through the window of Howard Wilton installing the screen shows a list of chores in the foreground with seven items on it, beginning with "sweep porch, water flowers" etc. In the closeup of Howard that follows, the list has changed, it now has a title ("Things To Do") and has only four items, starting with "rake yard, clean windows" etc. See more »


Referenced in American Grindhouse (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

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22 November 2007 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

The movie with its single set, minimal cast, and straightforward photography (except for a couple of brief special effects) reminds me of one of those old 60 minute playhouse dramas so popular during TV's early years. Nonetheless, the suspense hangs heavy over poor war widow Ida Lupino as she tries to deal with her semi-psychotic handyman Robert Ryan before one of his mood-swings kills her. And who better to play the troubled part than that great actor Ryan. He wasn't very versatile-- watching him essay comedy is almost painful. But no one was better at wounded idealism (On Dangerous Ground) or the psychic pain of this movie. Few actors could express as much with their eyes as this lean and towering figure.

Lupino's problem is that she's locked up in her house with a man who is kind and gentle one moment and raging the next. The suspense comes from her various ploys to keep him happy while trying to escape. It's a nail-biter all the way. This is not one of Lupino's many fine "soulful" parts that she was so good at. Instead, it's a role many lesser actresses could have handled well enough. My favorite scene is with Ryan and bratty teenager Margaret Whiting. Ryan's already having difficulty with his masculinity and what others are saying about him. Then when Whiting walks in and finds the attractive-looking Ryan scrubbing the floor, she starts getting coy, flirting with her budding sexuality. Sensing trouble, Ryan abruptly fends her off-- finesse is not his strong suit. Insulted, Whiting attacks his masculinity by calling his work "women's work". That does it. Up to that point he's been courteous and professional with Lupino, trying to set himself on a normal path. But Whiting has hit his raw nerve. Now there's heck to pay as Whiting bounces out the door, leaving Lupino to pay the price. It's a riveting scene, expertly done.

Anyway, this is one of the dozen or so films produced by Lupino and her husband at a time when audiences were moving away from these little black-and-whites in favor of wide-screen spectacles. Too bad. What a hugely talented figure she was both behind the camera and in front. She deserves at least an honorary Oscar from a movie industry to which she contributed so much.

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