7.1/10
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Wild Calendar (1949)

Caught (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance | April 1949 (USA)
An L.A. department store ambitious young model gets her wish of marrying a millionaire but she eventually discovers that rich life isn't always a happy one.

Director:

Max Ophüls (as Max Opuls)

Writers:

Arthur Laurents (screenplay), Libbie Block (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Mason ... Larry Quinada
Barbara Bel Geddes ... Leonora Eames
Robert Ryan ... Smith Ohlrig
Frank Ferguson ... Dr. Hoffman
Curt Bois ... Franzi Kartos
Ruth Brady Ruth Brady ... Maxine
Natalie Schafer ... Dorothy Dale
Art Smith ... Psychiatrist
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Storyline

It was Leonora Eames' childhood dream come true. She had married Smith Ohlrig, a man worth millions. But her innocent dream became a nightmare once she realizes the truth about her husband - he is power mad and insane! Since he will not grant her a divorce, she leaves her life of luxury on Long Island and goes to work as a receptionist in an impoverished doctor's office in NYC's lower east side. After Smith deceives her into a temporary reconciliation, Leonora becomes pregnant. By the time she realizes she is expecting, she and one of the doctors, Larry Quinada (James Mason), have fallen in love. But she is again lured backed to her wealthy husband to give her child financial security. Her sadistic husband is hell-bent on keeping her and her child prisoner. What will happen to Leonora? Written by Fiona Kelleghan <fkelleghan@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

James Mason in his first American motion picture. (One-sheet poster). See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

April 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Luckiest Girl in the World See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,574,422 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$511,000, 31 December 1949

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$776,000, 31 December 1949
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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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

Both John Berry and Robert Aldrich directed additional scenes, uncredited. See more »

Quotes

Store customer in flowered hat: [this, from Mrs. Ward Cleaver...!] Wally sign his contract with Metro yet...?
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User Reviews

 
Bel Geddes finest hour in Ophul's melodrama about paranoia of unshackled capitalism
14 January 2002 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

Of the many European emigres who helped shape American cinema, especially film noir, Max Ophuls brought one of the subtlest, most elusive sensibilities. Caught reflects this elusiveness: Part melodrama, part romance, part film noir, it's an unsettling film that burrows into complacent assumptions about freedom and success.

Department-store model Barbara Bel Geddes buys the notion that snagging a rich husband is the key to happiness. Once wed to disgustingly wealthy tycoon Smith Ohlrig (Robert Ryan), however, she finds herself a bird in a gilded cage whose owner is increasingly jealous, abusive and frightening. (The rumors are that Ohlrig was modelled on Howard Hughes, much as Charles Foster Kane was on William Randolph Hearst.) Finally she leaves him to work in the office of a poor pediatrician (James Mason), with whom she falls in love. But she and Ryan keep drifting back together, in a love-hate relationship that grows ever more doomed and desperate (there's a virtuoso scene in Mason's offices, at night, centering on her ominously empty desk)....

This is certainly Bel Geddes' most complex and fleshed-out screen performance, but the script suggests dimensions that she only hints at; though the part wouldn't work with a tigress like that other Barbara, Stanwyck, taking on Ryan in an equal grudge-match, an actress with a mite more edge might have shown how the caged wife came to draw courage and defiance precisely from her position as a powerful man's wife. (Bel Geddes is just too wholesome and likeable to bring off this ambiguity.) And the heavy paw of the studio descends as Caught comes to a close: The conclusion is too quick, loose ends flap in the breeze, and satisfaction remains incomplete. Ryan's dynamo performance -- he could really make the flesh crawl -- and Ophul's elegant direction compensate for a half-baked denouement imposed by a craven studio, lest anybody take personal or political offense.


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