7.2/10
1,872
50 user 13 critic

The Locket (1946)

Not Rated | | Drama, Film-Noir | 20 December 1946 (USA)
Just before a wedding, the bridegroom hears a complex tale painting his lovely bride as devilish and unbalanced.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Nancy
... Dr. Blair
... Norman Clyde
... John Willis
... Nancy (Age 10)
... Mr. Bonner
... Lord Wyndham
... Mrs. Willis
... Mr. Wendell
... Mrs. Bonner
Helene Thimig ... Mrs. Monks
... Mrs. Wendell
... Woman Singer
Lilian Fontaine ... Lady Wyndham
... Thelma
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Storyline

Lovely Nancy seems like the ideal bride to fiancée John Willis... until, just before the ceremony, Willis is approached by Harry Blair, claiming to be Nancy's former husband. The tale Blair unfolds (in a flashback within a flashback within a flashback!) paints Nancy as a kleptomaniac, habitual liar, and perhaps worse. But is Blair telling the truth? And does fate have another surprise in store? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Men took their lives in their hands when they took her in their arms! From one's mans to another she fled - trying to escape the evil memory of the tragic trinket whose strange power changed her life ... destroyed her loves! (LIFE 1947) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 December 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

What Nancy Wanted  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original screenplay "What Nancy Wanted" was written by Norma Barzman, who was married to blacklisted writer Ben Barzman. She sold the script to Hume Cronyn, who planned to direct the film with his wife Jessica Tandy starring. Cronyn then sold the script to RKO, which assigned Sheridan Gibney to rewrite the script. See more »

Goofs

When Norman is looking for Nancy at the party and meets up with her on the second floor, the maid at the end of the hall opens the closet door twice. See more »

Quotes

Nancy Monks Blair Patton: [with the locket Karen gave her] Thank you, God. I will never ask you for anything again.
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Connections

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Fatale beauté (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Hands, Knees and Boomps-a-Daisy
(uncredited)
Written by Annette Mills
Performed by Queenie Leonard
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Interestingly different film that comes together despite a risky flashback-within-a-flashback structure
27 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

Just before his wedding to the beautiful and carefree Nancy, John Willis is visited by Doctor Harry Blair who informs him that he knows the real Nancy and warns the doctor not to make the same mistake as him by marrying her. He tells her the story of how he had just married Nancy when a man called Clyde turned up in his office and told him a story about how he had met Nancy and had got drawn into her world of deception.

Shunning conventional structure is always a risk and in this film it is one that it takes as we have a story being told by Blair that is basically about him being told a story by Clyde. This makes for an interesting approach especially since the stories are both told by her dumped lovers. In this regard we're not sure what is true and what isn't and, while the stories engage on one level, I was conscious of the fact that they were telling and not necessarily facts (a trick Usual Suspects would later repeat to great praise). Existing within the minds of the characters, the story is interesting and is all the better at the end for it. For many viewers the story-telling approach will be a little slow and I times it did drag a bit but mostly it comes together and works as something different and interesting.

The cast are roundly good although they take second fiddle to the script and the ideas of director Brahm (who produces some clever ideas in Nancy's bridal march). Aherne is a bit too stiff in the role where really I wanted him to display a bit more range. Mitchum is good in his role but it wasn't the sort of thing I was used to seeing him in and he has been much better elsewhere. Day takes the main role of Nancy and does well with it – she is part of the reason we're not sure what is true and what isn't and she convinced me that she didn't know either. She has plenty of nice touches as well as one or two very strong moments. Like I said though, this wasn't a great actors film but nobody was less than good.

Overall this is an interesting and different film that takes a risk by stepping back to flashback within flashback but mostly pulls it off. The story format might be a little testing on the patience (hearing about something implies a lack of action in the time where we are – after all the audience spent the film in the Willis study) but the material is worth it and, once back in the present, everything comes together nicely. Worth seeing for being a different style of drama from the period.


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