7.2/10
2,354
40 user 24 critic

House by the River (1950)

A deranged writer murders a maid after she resists his advances. The writer engages his brother's help in hiding the body, and then watches as the brother becomes the prime suspect.

Director:

Fritz Lang

Writers:

Mel Dinelli (screenplay), A.P. Herbert (novel)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A telephone operator ends up drunk and at the mercy of a cad in his apartment. The next morning she wakes up with a hangover and the terrible fear she may be a murderess.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Anne Baxter, Richard Conte, Ann Sothern
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a lovely woman and her new husband settle in an ancient mansion on the East coast, she discovers that he may want to kill her.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Joan Bennett, Michael Redgrave, Anne Revere
Human Desire (1954)
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Korean War vet returns to his job as a railroad engineer and becomes involved in an affair with a co-worker's wife following a murder on a train where they meet.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Broderick Crawford
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Mae Doyle comes back to her hometown a cynical woman. Her brother Joe fears that his love, fish cannery worker Peggy, may wind up like Mae. Mae marries Jerry and has a baby; she is happy but restless, drawn to Jerry's friend Earl.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Ryan, Paul Douglas
Man Hunt (1941)
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

British hunter Thorndike vacationing in Bavaria has Hitler in his gun sight. He is captured, beaten, left for dead, and escapes back to London where he is hounded by German agents and aided by a young woman.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Joan Bennett, George Sanders
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

When a conservative middle-aged professor engages in a minor dalliance with a femme fatale, he is plunged into a nightmarish quicksand of blackmail and murder.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Raymond Massey
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Stephen Neale has just been released from an asylum during World War 2 in England when he stumbles on a deadly Nazi spy plot by accident, and tries to stop it.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Ray Milland, Marjorie Reynolds, Carl Esmond
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After the murder of his fiancée, a Wyoming ranch hand sets out to find her killer.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Arthur Kennedy, Mel Ferrer
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A novelist aided by his future father-in-law conspires to frame himself in the murder of a stripper as part of an effort to ban capital punishment.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Dana Andrews, Joan Fontaine, Sidney Blackmer
You and Me (1938)
Crime | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An altruistic department-store owner hires ex-convicts in order to give them a second chance at life. Unfortunately, one of the convicts he hires recruits two of his fellow ex-convicts in a plan to rob the store.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Sylvia Sidney, George Raft, Harry Carey
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

When a man in mid-life crisis befriends a young woman, her venal fiancé persuades her to con him out of the fortune they mistakenly assume he possesses.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Dan Duryea
Liliom (1934)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two women love the same man in a world of few prospects. In Budapest, Liliom is a "public figure," a rascal who's a carousel barker, loved by the experienced merry-go-round owner and by a ... See full summary »

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Charles Boyer, Madeleine Ozeray, Robert Arnoux
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Louis Hayward ... Stephen Byrne
Lee Bowman ... John Byrne
Jane Wyatt ... Marjorie Byrne
Dorothy Patrick ... Emily Gaunt
Ann Shoemaker ... Mrs. Ambrose
Jody Gilbert ... Flora Bantam
Peter Brocco ... Harry - Coroner
Howland Chamberlain Howland Chamberlain ... District Attorney
Margaret Seddon Margaret Seddon ... Mrs. Whittaker - Party Guest
Sarah Padden ... Mrs. Beach
Kathleen Freeman ... Effie Ferguson - Party Guest
Will Wright ... Inspector Sarten
Leslie Kimmell Leslie Kimmell ... Mr. Gaunt
Effie Laird Effie Laird ... Mrs. Gaunt
Edit

Storyline

The unsuccessful writer Stephen Byrne tries to force his servant Emily Gaunt sexually while his wife Marjorie Byrne is visiting a friend and accidentally strangles her. His crippled brother John Byrne coincidently comes to his house in that moment, and Stephen asks him to help to get rid of the corpse and avoid an scandal, since his wife would be pregnant. The naive and good John helps his brother to dump the body in the river nearby his house. Stephen uses the disappearance of Emily to blame her and promote his book. When the body is found by the police, all the evidences points to John, and he becomes the prime suspect of the murder. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

writer | murder | maid | river | death | See All (58) »

Taglines:

Enticing blonde beauty lures a lover's straying eyes ... See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 March 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Floodtide See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Fritz Lang originally wanted a black woman to play the role of Emily Gaunt but the producers refused. See more »

Quotes

John Byrne: Stephen... I can't go through with this.
Stephen Byrne: You promised to stay up there.
John Byrne: Listen to me. The only thing to do is go to the police. Tell then exactly how it happened. It was an accident.
Stephen Byrne: But, they'll never believe me. Even you don't believe me!
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
It's people who should be blamed for the filth, not the river.
7 March 2011 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

House by the River is directed by Fritz Lang and adapted by Mel Dinelli from A.P. Herbert's novel The House on the River. It stars Louis Hayward, Jane Wyatt, Lee Bowman & Dorothy Patrick. Music is by George Antheil and photography by Edward J. Cronjager.

Novelist Stephen Byrne (Hayward) makes a play for the house maid and unwittingly kills her when she repels his advances. Enlisting the help of his disabled brother, John (Bowman), to dispose of the body in the river, Stephen suddenly finds that the publicity surrounding the maid's disappearance has put him in vogue again. In fact he finds his muse sufficiently stoked enough to craft another novel. But as easy as Stephen finds it easy to have no conscience, the opposite is the case with John, and with the river refusing to hold its secrets, something is going to give.

Working out of Republic pictures, Lang refused to let the low budget production hamper his vision of a bleak Cain & Abel like Gothic-noir-melodrama. He did, however, meet some resistance when requesting that the maid be played by a black woman, which was quickly shot down by nervous executives at the famed "B" movie studio. House by the River is far from being among the best of Lang's work, but the final product is still a triumph considering it's basically a three character piece set virtually in just two locations. It scores high on eerie atmosphere and finds Lang dealing in moral bankruptcy/responsibility and the eye for an eye mentality. Ushered into the narrative, too, is a Lang fave of people irked by loving someone they can't have. These themes allow the director to gloss over the simple script and dally in some truly arresting visuals.

Aided considerably by Cronjager's (Desert Fury/CanyonPassage) chiaroscuro photography, Lang's film is a lesson in how to maximise effect from limited sets. The actual house on the river, and that of the neighbour (resplendent with creepy scarecrow in garden), has a very disquiet feel to it, fronted by shimmering water that carries the dead carcass' of animals, it's a most haunting setting. And the eerie atmosphere continues inside the house, where shadows work their wonders and Antheil's music sticks rigidly (and rightly) to the creaky house formula. The cast don't pull up any trees, but they don't need to. Hayward is perhaps too animated for a study in snide villainy, but it works and he has a nice line in visual mocking. The rest fall in line for what is required, with the best of the bunch being Ann Shoemaker as nosey neighbour Mrs. Ambrose.

Once a hard to find film, House by the River is now easily accessible after gaining a DVD release (the print is fine, some age spotting and crackles, but completely watchable). It's a film that is easily recommended to Lang and Gothic house based movie purists. Driven by a despicable protagonist and cloaked in a creepy noirish vibe, it deserves to now gain a better and more appreciative audience. 7.5/10


28 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 40 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed