Disturbed young man meets a girl he believes to be a long-dead ancestor.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Ben Gunther
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Julie Merriday
...
Julian Merriday
...
Harry Lindsay
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Sarah Merriday
Russell Thorson ...
Sheriff R. Seaton
Ben Wright ...
Lansbury
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Mrs. Courtland
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Henry
Howard Wendell ...
Mayor
John Holland ...
Mr. Courtland
...
Owen Farley
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Storyline

Wealthy, reckless Californian Julie Merriday, accompanied by her boyfriend Harry Lindsay, an attorney, narrowly avoids crashing into a motorcycle driven by young Ben Gunther. Ben temporarily abandons his damaged cycle and accepts a ride from Julie but insists upon calling her Barbara. Later, at the Merriday beach house, Julie's Aunt Sarah tells Julie that her great great grandmother was named Barbara, and furthermore, that ancestress had an illegitimate child fathered by one Benjamin Gunther. Despite her father's protestations and Ben's irrational conviction that she and he are reincarnations of the past lovers, Julie breaks off with Harry and elopes with Ben. While aboard a small ketch Ben claims he owns, Julie finds the earlier Benjamin's diary, reads of his affair with her ancestress, and realizes that Ben lied. Written by alfiehitchie

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Strange Things Are Happening! See more »


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Release Date:

24 March 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cita trágica  »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When helicopter is chasing Ben and Julie, they are running across sun-drenched field but in reverse shots copter is flying beneath cloudy skies. See more »

Connections

Referenced in True Romance (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Needs 40's RKO
11 April 2015 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Plot—A polite but obscure young man gains entrée into a wealthy household by claiming he and the family's daughter are reincarnations of past lovers. He's got just enough family secrets to lend some credence to the outlandish claim.

For a psychological thriller (why else the title) the film never achieves needed menace. Frankly the role is outside actor Donahue's limited range. Here he comes across more as a blandly mixed up beach boy than anything psychopathic. Thus the narrative unfolds rather than rivets. Heatherton is okay as the object of Gunther's (Donahue) obsession; at the same time, I almost forgot my Gidget flashbacks during the beach scenes. Actually I was most impressed with the unknown Coaster as the buttoned-down attorney, Harry. His sudden turnabout in that showdown scene with Merrivale (Sullivan) is impressive. Harry goes from a passive yes-man to a razor sharp critic in a scene that is both well scripted and acted, and may very well be the film's best.

Too bad RKO of the late 40's didn't get the project first. For b&w photography, they would have known what to do with noir material like this. Here the narrative is unfortunately filmed in flat style, at the same time the direction remains largely impassive. Consider what Anthony Mann or John Brahm could have done with, say, the boyish Robert Walker of Strangers on a Train (1951) as Gunther. Perhaps that's not very fair. But considering the potential this film shows, some such comparison is irresistible. Anyway, Donahue's rather sad career again shows the hazards of Hollywood. After all, like many youngsters, his brief moment depended more on youthful good looks than on talent. Too bad he didn't transition into a post-Hollywood career or marriage as many of his peers managed to do. All in all, I prefer to remember him from A Summer Place (1959) rather than for this obscurity.

(In passing--The topic of reincarnation briefly seized public attention in 1956 when a Colorado housewife, under hypnosis, claimed to be a reincarnation of an Irish girl, Bridey Murphy, from a century earlier. Apparently, the housewife had the brogue down pat and was just convincing enough to invite serious attention. For a while, many folks were undergoing hypnosis to maybe investigate their own previous lives. Anyway, the fad soon died out, but, for better or worse, I'm reminded of it by this movie.)


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