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Beware, My Lovely (1952)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 7 August 1952 (USA)
A psychopath takes a job as a handyman at the house of a lonely widow.

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(screenplay), (story "The Man") | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Mrs. Helen Gordon
...
Taylor Holmes ...
Mr. Walter Armstrong
Barbara Whiting ...
Ruth Williams
James Willmas ...
Mr. Stevens
...
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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Release Date:

7 August 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Day Without End  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When the delivery boy is unpacking groceries, Wilton pulls down the shade over the window in the door. When he lets the kid out, the shade is up again. See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Grindhouse (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
The Man, The Play & The Actor.
5 November 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

We are in a small town, a homely widow (Ida Lupino) hires a handyman (Robert Ryan) to look after her house. She soon starts to regret it as Ryan grows erratic by the hour, it appears that she is host to a dangerous schizophrenic, and now she is unable to escape her house.

Beware, My Lovely is adapted from Mel Dinelli's {The Spiral Staircase} story and play called "The Man". Pretty much a one set movie and a two character driven piece, the film boasts two great central performances and offers up an interesting take on mental illness. One however shouldn't be fooled into thinking this is a violent and nerve shredding picture, because it isn't. It's clear from the get go that Ryan's Howard Wilton is a dangerously troubled man, but this is a different sort of "peril" movie. One that throws up another slant on psychosis and thus makes it difficult to hate our dangerous protagonist.

Ryan and Lupino are a great combination, they had also done the excellent, and far better, On Dangerous Ground this same year. So with both actors clearly comfortable together, it brings out a finely tuned character story all based in the confines of one house, re: prison. Ryan is particularly strong as his character flits in and out of madness, with some scenes powerful and at times inducing fear and at others garnering deep sympathy. The direction from Harry Horner is safe {he in truth doesn't have to do much other than let his actors run with it} and George E. Diskant's cinematography contains some smart and impacting visual touches. With one involving Christmas tree baubles immensely memorable. Falling some where in between being average and great, Beware, My Lovely has enough about it to make it a recommendation to fans of borderline and easy to follow Film-Noir. For fans of Robert Ryan tho, it's something of an essential viewing, oh yes, and then some. 7/10


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