6.4/10
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28 user 8 critic

The Dark Past (1948)

Passed | | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller | 1949 (UK)
An escaped psychopathic killer who takes the family and neighbors of police psychologist hostage reveals a recurring nightmare to the doctor.

Director:

Rudolph Maté

Writers:

Malvin Wald (adaptation), Oscar Saul (adaptation) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
William Holden ... Al Walker
Nina Foch ... Betty
Lee J. Cobb ... Dr. Andrew Collins
Adele Jergens ... Laura Stevens
Stephen Dunne ... Owen Talbot
Lois Maxwell ... Ruth Collins
Berry Kroeger ... Mike
Steven Geray ... Prof. Fred Linder
Wilton Graff ... Frank Stevens
Robert Osterloh ... Pete
Kathryn Card Kathryn Card ... Nora
Robert Hyatt ... Bobby Collins (as Bobby Hyatt)
Ellen Corby ... Agnes
Charles Cane Charles Cane ... Sheriff
Robert B. Williams ... Williams
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Storyline

When a detective scoffs at his suggestion that an 18 year-old criminal be referred for psychiatric examination Dr. Andrew Collins, the police psychiatrist, tells him the story of his encounter with Al Walker. Walker had a history of violence and killed the prison warden during an escape. He and his gang took the Collins family and their friends hostage but when Dr. Collins learns that Walker has a violent recurring dream, he offers to help him decipher the dream and determine exactly what has driven him to a life of crime and violence. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

SENSATIONAL SUSPENSE DRAMA! (original print media ad - all caps)


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1949 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Hearsay See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

Film debut of Robert Osterloh. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Andrew Collins: Perhaps the memory that causes your dream has something to do with your family, your mother maybe.
Al Walker: We've been all through that, haven't we? We finished with her!
Dr. Andrew Collins: No, you're not! You'll never be!
Al Walker: But she's dead. She meant nothing to me when she was alive!
Dr. Andrew Collins: She's the only woman you ever really loved. Allthe other women in your life are substitutes for her!
See more »

Connections

Remake of Blind Alley (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Air
from Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major
by Johann Sebastian Bach
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User Reviews

 
Good Acting - Dated Script
6 October 2003 | by wglennSee all my reviews

As others have noted, the Freud 101 psycho-babble almost ruins an otherwise good movie. Yet, if you can brush aside the silliness of the dated script, there's some excellent acting here by Lee J. Cobb and William Holden, and a fairly decent film noir plot. The claustrophobic atmosphere of so many hostages in the house, along with the growing storm outside and the nervous but vicious gangsters creates a palpable tension that builds throughout the film. Holden is at his edgiest, playing the dangerous ex-convict on the lam. But he does what he always does best, mixing in just enough sensitivity with his animal nature to create a more complex character - you actually want to like the guy, even if he has shot people down in cold blood. The chemistry between Cobb and Holden is the best part of the film and makes it worth watching, though there are many better films to spend your time with. There are many worse ones, too.


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