On trial for murdering his girlfriend, philandering stockbroker Larry Ballentine takes the stand to claim his innocence and describe the actual, but improbable sounding, sequence of events that led to her death.
Steven Kenet, suffering from a recurring brain injury, appears to have strangled his wife. Having confessed, he's committed to an understaffed county asylum full of pathetic inmates. There, Dr. Ann Lorrison is initially skeptical about Kenet's story and reluctance to undergo treatment. But against her better judgement, she begins to doubt his guilt, and endangers her career on a dangerous quest through dark streets awash with rain.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
At around ten minutes, a group of doctors are looking at Kenet's skull x-rays. The x-rays are hung behind the illuminated frosted glass panels - so that we can see the x-rays, but the doctors could not. And the x-ray as we see it is oriented correctly to show a left side hematoma, but to the doctors, the x-ray is reversed meaning the hematoma would be on the right. See more »
Battle Hymn of the Republic
Music by William Steffe
Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe
[An unseen patient is singing the song while Ann runs through the ward to see Steve in isolation] See more »
This is probably Robert Taylor's first real film noir. He is revered in some circles for work a decade later such as Nicholas Ray's "Party Girl." I think he is excellent in "High Wall." He plays a decorated war vet who is accused of murder. Not just accused of murder but also but into a psychiatric hospital. Yikes. No fun at all. Except that the hypnotherapist assigned to his case is a beautiful woman who kind of likes him.
Cast in the role of the psychiatrist is one of the great staples of film noir, Audrey Totter. She is as always good. Better than good. What's intriguing here is that she is cast not as a femme fatale but as a career woman who is in every sense on the right side of the angels and the law.
Herbert Marshall turns in a superbly creepy performance also. I won't say much about his role other than that this is not really a whodunit. We know the answer to that very early.
It's an unusual, brave movie. It has flaws but is nevertheless very good.
31 of 32 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this