Agnes Langsley gets a job, through Jim Hollis, as caretaker of an old and vacated estate. The owner's cousin, Jennifer, was the last occupant and mysteriously disappeared. Agnes soon begins...
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Barbara Bel Geddes,
Agnes Langsley gets a job, through Jim Hollis, as caretaker of an old and vacated estate. The owner's cousin, Jennifer, was the last occupant and mysteriously disappeared. Agnes soon begins to believe that Jennifer was murdered and that Jilm, whom she has fallen in love with, is responsible. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lupino & Duff team up in wispy but atmospheric Gothic noir
I first caught up with Jennifer years ago while out of town when it showed up on TV in the middle of the night; I fell asleep before it ended but it stuck with me until I had to track it down. Its appeal is that, though there's not a lot to it, it weaves an intriguing atmosphere, and because Ida Lupino and Howard Duff (real life man-and-wife at the time) display an alluring, low-key chemistry. Lupino plays a woman engaged to house-sit a vast California estate whose previous caretaker -- Jennifer -- up and disappeared. (Shades of Jack Nicholson in the Shining, although in this instance it's not Lupino who goes, or went, mad). Duff is the guy in town who manages the estate's finances and takes a shine to Lupino, who decides to play hard to get. She becomes more and more involved, not to say obsessed, with what happened to her predecessor in the old dark house full of descending stairways and locked cellars. The atmospherics and the romantic byplay are by far the best part of the movie, as viewers are likely to find the resolution a bit of a letdown -- there's just not that much to it (except a little frisson at the tail end that anticipates Brian De Palma's filmic codas). But it's well done, and, again, it sticks with you. Extra added attraction: this is the film that introduced the song "Angel Eyes," which would become part of the standard repertoire of Ol' Blue Eyes.
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