7.0/10
1,266
31 user 9 critic

High Wall (1947)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 17 December 1947 (USA)
After a brain-damaged man confesses to murder and is committed, Dr. Ann Lorrison tries to prove his innocence.

Director:

Curtis Bernhardt

Writers:

Sydney Boehm (screenplay), Lester Cole (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Taylor ... Steven Kenet
Audrey Totter ... Dr. Ann Lorrison
Herbert Marshall ... Willard I. Whitcombe
Dorothy Patrick ... Helen Kenet
H.B. Warner ... Mr. Slocum
Warner Anderson ... Dr. George Poward
Moroni Olsen ... Dr. Philip Dunlap
John Ridgely ... David Wallace (as John Ridgeley)
Morris Ankrum ... Dr. Stanley Griffin
Elisabeth Risdon ... Mrs. Kenet
Vince Barnett ... Henry Cronner
Jonathan Hale ... Emory Garrison
Charles Arnt ... Sidney X. Hackle
Ray Mayer Ray Mayer ... Tom Delaney
Robert Hyatt ... Richard Kenet (as Bobby Hyatt)
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

So tense! So taut! It closes in on you like a high wall!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 December 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Anklage - Mord See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,844,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,553,000, 31 December 1948

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,618,000, 31 December 1948
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

This film received its USA television premiere in Los Angeles Monday 15 October 1956 on KTTV (Channel 11), followed by Seattle 30 October 1956 on KING (Channel 5), by Philadelphia Saturday 3 November 1956 on WFIL (Channel 6), by New Haven CT Sunday 18 November 1956 on WNHC (Channel 8), by Cincinnati Wednesday 28 November 1956 on WXIX (Channel 19) (Newport KY), by Hartford CT Thursday 6 December 1956 on WHCT (Channel 18), by Altoona PA Friday 14 December 1956 on WFBG (Channel 10), by Omaha Saturday 26 January 1957 on WOW (Channel 6) and by New York City Sunday 24 February 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2); in Chicago it first aired 28 June 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), and San Francisco it was first telecast 4 February 1958 on KGO (Channel 7). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Soundtracks

Home on the Range
(uncredited)
Written by Daniel E. Kelley
Performed by Frank Darien
[The old man in the tub next to Steve sings the song]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A few terrific moments, but disappointing overall
21 May 2003 | by jxm4687See all my reviews

Robert Taylor grapples valiantly with an offbeat role that may be too much for his limited range. He has some good scenes as a World War II vet who sustained head injuries and whose return to civilian life is plagued by headaches--and worse, incarceration in a county mental hospital after he is suspected of murdering his wife. Did he do it? No way, this guy was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross, loves his young son whom he hasn't seen for two years (while flying charter places in Burma to earn bucks for an ambitious wife), and really wants to take a research fellowship (for a measly $200 bucks a month. Besides, the movie tips its hand as to the murderer's true identity before Taylor even appears.

That first glimpse of Taylor is a stunner--he's at the wheel of a car speeding out of control, an apparently dead blonde female (his wife as it turns out) at his side, his face full of madness and anguish. Unfortunately, the movie gets bogged down in dated (and superficial) psychiatry and trite glimpses of life in a mental ward. The relationship between Taylor and his psychiatrist (Audrey Totter) strains credibility, though it does push the plot forward to a fairly exciting, if not believable, conclusion. Totter is a disappointment, drab and too serious--her performance needs more of the sharp, tart personality you get from many of her other roles.

Director Curtis Bernhardt gets in a few good film noir licks here. The rain during the extended climax is effective, and the scene where hospital staff visits Taylor's mother--only to find her dead--is extraordinary.

Do a few terrific moments make this a worthwhile 98 minutes? Maybe.


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