6.4/10
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12 user 5 critic

Blind Alley (1939)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 11 May 1939 (USA)
Gangster Hal Wilson takes psychiatrist Dr. Shelby hostage. While captive, the doctor analyzes Wilson as though he were a patient.

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(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Linda Curtis
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George Curtis
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Dick Holbrook (as John Eldridge)
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Agnes
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Buck
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Fred Landis
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Nick
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Harriet
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Storyline

Following a prison break, Hal Wilson, a ruthless killer takes refuge in the home of a psychiatrist, Dr. Shelby. While Wilson is attempting to make a safe getaway, Dr. Shelby is busily trying to analyze his captor and find out just what, in his dark past, made him the man he now has become. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Piercing the Unholy Mysteries of a Killer's Gun-Crazed Mind! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 May 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Afsporet  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Early in the film, the campus building depicted behind Dr. Shelby is Royce Hall, a distinctive landmark on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles. See more »

Goofs

The gangster's fingers are supposedly paralyzed, but when he pushes the "Insanity and the Criminal Mind" book back onto the shelf, you can clearly see him flick it into place with one of his "paralyzed" fingers. See more »

Connections

Version of Blind Alley (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Far Above Cayuga's Waters
(ca 1870) (uncredited)
(Cornell University's "Alma Mater")
Music (from the song "Annie Lisle") by H.S. Thompson (1857)
Played during the opening scene
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User Reviews

 
Ridiculous and improbable, but fun to watch
26 March 2008 | by See all my reviews

This is a film that you just have to watch without thinking too much--particularly if you realizes how silly the film is from a psychological point of view. Chester Morris and his gang take a group of people hostage while hiding out from the police. With very little provocation, Morris kills one of the hostages and in response, the psychiatrist (Ralph Bellamy) decides to mess with Morris' mind in order to drive him over the edge. Much of the movie is spent watching Bellamy slowly gain Morris' trust and later they begin exploring the meaning and significance of Morris' recurring dream. This is amazingly silly, not only because the cops might burst into the home at any minute but because in only a short time they are able explore and work out ALL of Morris' problems!! Also, while the style of therapy and theory behind it seemed pretty sound for the 1930s, today a lot of this just seemed like very silly mumbo-jumbo. Still, if you can ignore the silliness of all this and Morris' over-acting, then it is an entertaining little film.

By the way, for a much better film without the mumbo-jumbo, try watching THE DESPERATE HOURS. This film is also about a vicious gang taking a family hostage but is far more realistic and compelling.

UPDATE: I just saw the remake of this film, "The Dark Past" (1948) and I think it's a superior picture. Much of this is due to William Holden's more subdued performance.


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