In flashback from a 'Rebecca'-style beginning: Ellen Foster, visiting her aunt on the California coast, meets neighbor Jeff Cohalan and his ultramodern clifftop house. Ellen is strongly ... See full summary »
Invalid George Jones is both physically and mentally ill. He mistakenly believes his wife Ellen and his doctor are having an affair and also planning to kill him. He writes a letter to his lawyer detailing their alleged murder plot. After he has Ellen give the letter to their postman, he reveals its contents to her and then threatens her with a gun. The excitement proves to much and George suffers a fatal collapse. Now Ellen must find a way to retrieve the incriminating letter.Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <email@example.com>
This is one of a handful of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer productions of the 1950-1951 period whose original copyrights were never renewed and are now apparently in Public Domain; for this reason this title is now offered, often in very inferior copies, at bargain prices, by numerous VHS and DVD distributors who do not normally handle copyrighted or Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer material. See more »
"Cause for Alarm" isn't a great film but it captures the noir cinematic scene of the postwar period fairly well. Loretta Young's frenetic pursuit through hot suburban California streets to retrieve a dangerous missive is well done. Is anyone really convincing in a story of a WWII pilot working in the insurance industry and detouring into paranoia while stricken with a cardiac condition? Nah, probably not. But the movie is a nice visit back to the fifties.
Early in the film Loretta Young walks out to her driveway and encounters - a celluloid ME. Attired in the exact same garb I wore in '51, a black cowboy outfit with two six(cap)-guns and riding a trusty trike, a not particularly adept child actor passes himself off as the one-and-only Hopalong Cassidy (as we grew older he became "Hopalong Catastrophe" but in the early fifties he was our unsullied hero). This kid even has the same toy I remember treasuring.
All that nostalgia aside, this short film is diverting albeit not the finest example of noir cinema. Loretta Young was as beautiful as she was talented. Barry Sullivan is appropriately nuts and most of the rest of the cast give dependable color to their roles.
This film definitely belongs in any noir retrospective.
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