In Victorian London, all the talk in one specific neighborhood is that someone has finally moved into 12 Pimilco Square, the house having sat empty for years as the previous owner, Alice Barlow, was murdered there, her valuable rubies thought to be stolen in the process, this information of which the new owners, newlyweds Paul and Bella Mallen, may or may not be aware. Bella's delicate constitution takes a turn for the worse after moving into the house, she forgetting and misplacing things, as well as being delusional in hearing noises in the closed off upper floors of the house, and seeing the lights flicker when no one else is in the house, those flickers which should only occur when other lights are turned on and off in the house in the gas to the lights being dispersed. Paul's love for her crosses that fine line into hate in dealing with Bella's worsening mental health, he isolating her in the house in not wanting to be embarrassed by her in public. Paul's harsh treatment ...Written by
When MGM remade the film with Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman, the studio attempted to have all prints of this earlier version destroyed. Fortunately, several prints escaped the fire (in fact, it is believed that director Thorold Dickinson surreptitiously struck a print himself before the negative was lost). See more »
After the murder of the old lady in 1865, a police constable is shown blowing a whistle to summon assistance. Whistles were not used by the Metropolitan Police until the 1870s; prior to that they used a football rattle to attract attention. See more »
It's easy to see why MGM locked this away in their vaults when they issued their 1944 remake--it's really great!
An evil crook (Anton Walbrook) slowly tries to drive his wife (Diana Wynyard) mad for some jewels.
This isn't as lush as the remake, but it more than makes up for it in other departments. For one thing--it's shorter by about 30 minutes and there's no romantic interlude at the beginning. This one starts dark and gets darker. Walbrook is frightening as the husband--much better than Charles Boyer in the remake. The scenes where he yells at his wife had me jumping. Wynyard is great as his fragile wife. She doesn't go into hysterics and chew the scenery like Ingrid Bergman did--she plays it calmly and quietly and very very realistically. Her final confrontation with her husband was just great. Also Cathleen Cordell is lots of fun as Nancy, the parlor maid. In the remake she was played by Angela Landsbury (in her film debut). Surprisingly, Cordell is better than Landsbury!
The remake copied this film virtually scene by scene--and suffers somewhat by comparison. It added on the unnecessary romantic subplot with Joseph Cotton. Thankfully, there's nothing like that here. This just grips you from the very beginning and doesn't let go.
Both movies are great but this one is marginally better. Very recommended.
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