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Undercurrent (1946)

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Middle-aged bride Ann Hamilton soon begins to suspect that her charming husband is really a psychotic who plans to murder her.

Director:

Vincente Minnelli

Writers:

Edward Chodorov (screenplay), Thelma Strabel (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Katharine Hepburn ... Ann Hamilton
Robert Taylor ... Alan Garroway
Robert Mitchum ... Michael Garroway
Edmund Gwenn ... Professor David 'Dink' Hamilton
Marjorie Main ... Lucy
Jayne Meadows ... Sylvia Lea Burton
Clinton Sundberg ... Mr. Warmsley
Dan Tobin ... Professor Joseph Bangs
Kathryn Card Kathryn Card ... Mrs. Foster
Leigh Whipper Leigh Whipper ... George
Charles Trowbridge ... Justice Putnam
James Westerfield ... Henry Gilson
Billy McClain Billy McClain ... Uncle Ben (as Billy McLain)
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Storyline

Approaching middle age, spinster Ann Hamilton, the daughter of Science Professor David Hamilton - more affectionately referred to as Dink - is intelligent, but dowdy and unsophisticated, she who never expects to get married and does nothing beyond be her tomboyish self in an effort to attract a man. Being single does not bother her as she repeatedly turns down the marriage proposal of Dink's colleague, Professor Joseph Bangs, a man she does not love. So it is with some surprise to her that she not only likes Alan Garroway, a wealthy and handsome industrialist who is doing business with Dink, but that they fall in love and get married after a whirlwind courtship. Alan made his wealth during the war in a family started business which ended up being a parts supplier to the military for their aircraft. In their bi-coastal marriage - Alan's company's headquarters in San Francisco, while he grew up and still owns property in Middleburg, Virginia, outside of Washington, DC where he has many ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Please Don't Tell The Terrific Ending! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

13 January 1947 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

You Were There See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,644,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The airplane show taking Ann and Alan to Washington, DC--flying mid-air--is an American Airlines Douglas DC-3 DST (Douglas Sleeper Transport), registration NC16001, named "Flagship New York". It was the first DST in service. It first flew with AA in 1936 and was impressed into USAAF service as a C-49E in WWII as reg. 42-56097. On December 18, 1943, it crash-landed at Biggs Army Airfield, Ft. Bliss, TX, and was scrapped. This same plane can be seen in Murder Over New York (1940). See more »

Goofs

The aircraft shown flying mid-air with Ann and Alan going to Washington, D.C. and the one landing are different planes. The one flying is NC16001, the one landing is NC33651. Note the different tail on the one landing that says "Buy War Bonds". See more »

Quotes

Ann Hamilton: [on seeing Washington, D.C] The closest I've ever come is a letter to my Congressman.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Forecast (1945) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Turgid Melodrama
13 May 2012 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

The first half-hour is quite well done. Hepburn is excellent as the plain Jane whose brave exterior hides an aching heart. That the sleekly handsome Taylor would suddenly pay her attention is almost too good to be true. For the sheltered girl, it's a Cinderella dream come true. The Washington DC party scenes are particularly well done, just the sort of thing MGM was skilled at, and watching her keep up a brave façade among the snobs while hiding deep insecurity is particularly affecting. But then the movie goes into a dark psychological phase, and it's mainly downhill from then on.

There's nothing plausible about Ann's (Hepburn) obsession with a mysterious Michael (Mitchum), especially while she's married to Prince Charming Alan (Taylor). It's clearly a plot contrivance and a clumsy one, at that. And catch that sequence where Alan tries to kill Ann while they're on horseback. It's about as poorly staged and edited as any action sequence I've seen. In particular, the progression of backgrounds doesn't come close to matching, creating a rather surreal effect.

In my book, LB Mayer's MGM was the wrong studio to do this kind of dark material. Too bad Mayer didn't pass the story over to a budget outfit like Columbia or RKO. They would have turned out a fast efficient little noir, which is what the material is really suited for. The trouble here is that MGM casts two of its biggest celebrity stars in the lead. Hepburn and Taylor are fine performers, but their super-star status required lots of screen time, so the movie gets padded to an often redundant two hours, which doesn't help.

It's also an odd role for Mitchum given his later screen persona. Of course, it's still early in the tough guy's career, and a year away from his defining role as the noirish Jeff in Out of the Past (1947). Still, seeing him in a bland part that any number of lesser actors could have handled takes some getting used to. He's lucky he went from here to the eccentric RKO, while I'm wondering where his career would have gone had he stayed with glamorous MGM.

All in all, the melodrama itself is a turgid disappointment despite the first half-hour and the amount of talent involved.


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