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When Strangers Marry (1944)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery | 21 August 1944 (USA)
A naive small-town girl comes to New York City to meet her husband, and discovers that he may be a murderer.

Director:

William Castle

Writers:

Philip Yordan (screenplay), Dennis J. Cooper (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dean Jagger ... Paul Baxter
Kim Hunter ... Mildred Baxter
Robert Mitchum ... Fred Graham
Neil Hamilton ... Police Lieutenant Blake
Lou Lubin ... Jacob Houser
Milton Kibbee ... Charlie (as Milt Kibbee)
Dewey Robinson ... Newsstand Owner
Claire Whitney ... Middle-Aged Wife on Train
Edward Keane ... Middle - Aged Husband on Train
Virginia Sale ... Hotel Chambermaid
Dick Elliott ... Sam Prescott
Lee 'Lasses' White Lee 'Lasses' White ... Old Man (as Lee White)
Marta Mitrovich Marta Mitrovich ... Baby's Mother
Billy Nelson ... Louisville Driver
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Storyline

A naive small-town girl comes to New York City to meet her husband, and discovers that he may be a murderer.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

DYNAMIC! (original print ad - caps only) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 August 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Betrayed See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is a scene where we see a framed photo of a man on a mantle. The photo is of director William Castle. Another scene features a man named "Mr. King" being paged; the producers of the film are both named King. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Trumbo (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Boogie Woogie
(uncredited)
Music by Lorenzo Flennoy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pre-noir, over the top, compact crime film that works!
15 October 2014 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

When Strangers Marry (1944)

Also known as, "Betrayed."

A rather tight, odd, compelling film. It's a B-movie, for sure, straight from William Castle territory (known for his sensational low-budget films). But it has Robert Mitchum in a strong early role, and Dean Jagger as a compelling bad guy. And the leading woman, played by the rather plain looking Kim Hunter, is good, too.

There are a lot of small elements that make this click along. For one, it's edited with utter economy. Then there is the slightly offbeat settings, including near the end a wonderful club scene with simple stride jazz, all African American. That three minutes is almost worth it alone, low key and stripped of glamour. A touch of Harlem, via Hollywood.

The plot, which has some conventional qualities, is also really odd at times, and it takes a minute to buy the idea of the title. That is, a naive woman marries a salesman she barely knows, and she hasn't seen him in a month. But he shows up just when a murderer has been making headlines, escaping from justice. You automatically connect the two, and yet there are tiny doubts. Maybe we're being set up.

The drama here is part of the pleasure—mostly night stuff, strong angles, hard light. And of course a trusting woman who slowly realizes there might be true terror on her hands. There's nothing like worrying for an innocent. Mitchum plays the good guy here, and he's young but already has his familiar style in place, which I assume is basically the real man. And he worries, too.

Jagger is actually pretty terrific. He plays an odd, difficult sort, covering up his apparent past (we aren't sure), but also showing real concern for this young woman, who is so utterly innocent. We eventually, slowly, feel for his situation. The turn of events at the end of the plot are a bit too much too fast, unfortunately. It undermines a solid progression up to then. Even so, watch this if you like the era, and crime movies. Well enough done. And fast.


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