7.4/10
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33 user 9 critic

The Hidden Room (1949)

Obsession (original title)
Approved | | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller | 8 January 1950 (USA)
Clive Riordan plans a devilish revenge against his wife's lover.

Director:

Edward Dmytryk

Writers:

Alec Coppel (book), Alec Coppel (screenplay)
Reviews

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Newton ... Dr. Clive Riordan
Phil Brown ... Bill Kronin
Sally Gray ... Storm Riordan
Naunton Wayne ... Supt. Finsbury
James Harcourt James Harcourt ... Aitkin (butler)
Betty Cooper Betty Cooper ... Miss Stevens (receptionist)
Michael Balfour Michael Balfour ... American sailor
Ronald Adam ... Clubman
Roddy Hughes Roddy Hughes ... Clubman
Allan Jeayes Allan Jeayes ... Clubman
Olga Lindo Olga Lindo ... Mrs. Humphries
Russell Waters Russell Waters ... Flying Squad detective
Lyonel Watts Lyonel Watts ... Clubman (as Lionel Watts)
Sam Kydd ... Club steward
Monty the Dog Monty the Dog ... Monty - Storm's Dog
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Storyline

London psychiatrist Clive Riordan, royally fed up with the repeated affairs of his wife Storm, plots a seemingly 'perfect' revenge against her latest lover, American Bill Kronin. Catching them in the act, he marches Bill off at gunpoint; and from the viewpoint of Storm and the rest of the world, Bill simply vanishes. But there's far more to the meticulously worked out plot than Clive's victims suspect, with the end slowly preparing in his private laboratory. Enter a mild-mannered Scotland Yard man, who seemingly has no clue beyond a missing dog... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Whose eye could see... Whose ear could hear... Whose mind could know... the Secret! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 January 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hidden Room 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

Phil Brown (Bill) is best known to Star Wars fans as Luke Skywalker's Uncle Owen See more »

Goofs

When the dog falls in the "acid bath", he suffers no ill effects and Bill makes no effort to even rinse him off. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Clive Riordan: Are you married, Mr. Finsbury?
Supt. Finsbury: No... I've often thought about it. Trouble is, I've thought about it so long, I'm afraid I've missed the bus.
Dr. Clive Riordan: Just one of life's little jokes, isn't it?... It points out our mistakes too late for us to profit by them.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Destination Murder (1950) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent dark thriller
12 August 2009 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

Obsession is adapted from a book by Alec Coppel (who also wrote the screenplay) and is yet another film based on the idea of a man in search of 'the perfect murder'. The film takes on a dark noir tone and the film focuses on both the story at hand, as well as the psychology of the lead character. The lead character is Dr. Clive Riordan; a prominent psychologist. He's an articulate and intelligent man and so when he discovers his wife is having a string of affairs right under his nose, he decides to do something about it, by way of shocking her into not having any more affairs. He drops in on his wife one night while she is enjoying an evening with a lover - an American named Bill Kronin - and holds the two of them at gunpoint. After humiliating his wife; she leaves the room, while he and the American leave shortly afterwards. The American then disappears; the wife believes her husband has murdered the man as he promised he would, but the truth is much more sinister as the psychologist goes in pursuit of the perfect murder.

The lead role is taken by Robert Newton, who makes for an excellent lead. His portrayal of the central character is thoroughly captivating, and much of the film's success is owed to this. The film also benefits from an excellent script, which really makes the characters seem real and provides some excellent lines of dialogue - a scene between the lead character a police officer over the varying skills of the police and murderers is a major highlight. The plot itself flows very well as the film moves along and more than does enough to hold the audience's attention; the psychologist's musings over his theories on how to commit the perfect crime are one of the main points of interest. The atmosphere of the film is very dark and director Edward Dmytryk lays style on very thick which is of great benefit to the story, which is very dark itself. Things get very tense as we near the ending and the end itself is strong and gives good closure to the story. Overall, Obsession is a great thriller and well worth the effort of tracking down. Highly recommended!


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