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The Unguarded Moment (1956)

A beautiful teacher is protective of a high school boy who sexually harassed her, and later he becomes a murder suspect.



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Larry Marcus) | 2 more credits »


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Complete credited cast:
Lois Conway
Lt. Harry Graham
Leonard Bennett
Mr. Bennett
Mr. Pendleton
Dani Janssen ...
Josie Warren (as Dani Crayne)
Attorney Briggs (as Edward C. Platt)
Mr. Pendleton's Secretary
Robert Williams ...
Detective (as Robert B. Williams)


A woman has recently been murdered. A teacher at the nearby high school receives threatening notes from a student. Detective Graham is the only one who believes that she is in danger. She fingers the boy, a popular student. Her teaching career is threatened, as is her life. The detective looks for evidence, and brings him in on burglary and murder charges. Both crimes are solved. Written by Audrey B. Morris

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


... now - after school - in the deserted halls, they faced each other! See more »


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Release Date:

November 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Gentle Web  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The screenplay was based on an original story that Rosalind Russell had written for herself in the 40s. Her schedule was busy and by the time it was developed by Universal into a film in 1956, she was too old for the role. In addition, she had played a sexually frustrated, matronly teacher the previous year in "Picnic." See more »


When the kids enter the "Sugar Shack" at the end, the juke box suddenly begins playing music, even though no one is anywhere near it to start it. See more »


Lieutenant Harry Graham: You can lie about a lot of things, but fingerprints don't lie.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Although John Saxon was billed conventionally in the opening titles, during the end titles there is one card listing the entire cast followed by a visual of John Saxon with the words "You have just seen a new personality JOHN SAXON." See more »

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User Reviews

28 August 2004 | by (Mankato, Minnesota) – See all my reviews

This is an AMC, Tuesday afternoon flick that you CANNOT STOP WATCHING! Great trash! Here we see Esther Williams (and not a glimpse of a swimming suit) as a sexually harassed high school teacher. The object of her harrassment... a young, and not hair challenged John Saxon. Great sets, great love interest in the cop who comes to her aid... This is a very interesting time capsule about sensibilities in the 1950s. It is implied, if not stated, that if poor ole Esther would only give up her crazy career notions and settle down, she's not be in so much trouble!

While Saxon gives a wooden performance (in more ways than one), veteran character actor Edward Andrews shines as the boy's demented father. What a champ he was to go into this B-movie and give it his all. It's not as if he wasn't in demand as a character actor. (He was second only to Whit Bissel as the guy you knew, but couldn't name in the movies.) He was always turning up as the client on "Bewitched" or in a small supporting film role. He was perfect as the big, rotund, Babbitt-like small town banker who got his in the end.

The sets are perfect 50's, especially the school. Esther Williams gives a good performance in a Rosalind Russell script, although after this one, she hung up her bathing suit and retired to a life of luxury. Still, isn't it odd that her character is so naive? She walks about in a daze, wondering how a teenage boy could have a sexual interest in her. Even in middle age, she was quite an attractive woman. Why is this so surprising to her? Of course, this film does what ALL good, exploitive trash films do... it opens doors, says one thing while doing another and asks us to stretch our sensibilities a bit.

Next time you're home, sick from work, flip on AMC on TV. It might be 9am or 1 in the afternoon. If it's "The Unguarded Moment', the trash flickering in front of you will keep you captivated. You'll still be thinking about it at dinner time too!

14 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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