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Experiment Perilous (1944)

In 1903, a doctor suspects murder in the gothic Bederaux family.


Jacques Tourneur


Warren Duff (screenplay), Margaret Carpenter (novel)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Hedy Lamarr ... Allida Bederaux
George Brent ... Dr. Huntington Bailey
Paul Lukas ... Nick Bederaux
Albert Dekker ... Clag
Carl Esmond ... Maitland
Olive Blakeney ... Cissie
George N. Neise ... Alec
Margaret Wycherly ... Maggie
Stephanie Bachelor ... Elaine
Mary Servoss ... Miss Wilson
Julia Dean ... Deria
William Post Jr. ... District Attorney


In 1903, Dr. Bailey meets a very strange woman on a train, then hears that she has died under mysterious circumstances. Through a friend, he becomes acquainted with the Bederaux family, all of whom seem to be neurotic and secretive; but the beauty of Alida Bederaux draws him into their circle...deeper than he'd planned. Who's in danger from whom? Who's crazy? Who can fathom the obscure motivations? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Perilous to Love!


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


According to contemporary articles in The Hollywood Reporter, Maureen O'Hara and Laraine Day were considered for the female lead in this film. See more »


Towards the end of the film, when Dr. Bailey attacks Nick and the two briefly fight, it's very obvious that the people seen fighting are stunt doubles. Nick's stunt double doesn't even have the same hair color. See more »


Nick Bederaux: Mentality never quite makes up for the physical, does it, my dear?
See more »

User Reviews

Hedy's performance Top Notch to me
20 June 2010 | by bruno-32See all my reviews

Some of the reviewers here have been unkind for Hedy's performance, and can't for the life me understand why. They are all making comparisons for 2 different performances, with 2 movies that have similar backgrounds...almost anyway. Hedy's was suppose to show fear, anxiety, and meekness in her character...afraid to confront her husband. In this regard, Ingrid's character in "Gaslight" was similar, up to a point. Ingrid, had the one big scene where she shows all her frustration and anger at her husband, in one lusty yell. Hedy had no such scene advantage. Her performance was more somber, which i think she did, to me, and at the time of its release, many of the reviews said the same. By today's standard of performances, she would have been at the least nominated for an Oscar, as in comparison to a Helen Hunt performance in a forgettable movie with Jack Nickelson, in which she won Best Actress.

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Release Date:

18 December 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Experiment Perilous See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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