6.6/10
1,466
38 user 7 critic

Beware, My Lovely (1952)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 29 August 1952 (USA)
A psychopath takes a job as a handyman at the house of a lonely widow.

Director:

Harry Horner

Writers:

Mel Dinelli (screenplay), Mel Dinelli (story "The Man") | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ida Lupino ... Mrs. Helen Gordon
Robert Ryan ... Howard Wilton
Taylor Holmes ... Mr. Walter Armstrong
Barbara Whiting ... Ruth Williams
James Willmas James Willmas ... Mr. Stevens
O.Z. Whitehead ... Mr. Franks
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Storyline

Helen Gordon hires Howard Wilton as a handyman to do chores around her house. She doesn't know what she's let herself in for. Insecure and paranoid, Wilton thinks everyone, including Helen, is against him. He suffers from memory lapses and extreme mood swings. She's soon a prisoner in her own house after Wilton locks the doors and tears out the telephone. His mood swings from violence to complacency but after Helen gets a message to the police via a telephone repairman, she finds he is still in the house. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Trapped by a man beyond control!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 August 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Day Without End See more »

Filming Locations:

USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Filmakers See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The story by Mel Dinelli titled "The Man" was turned into a play and opened on Broadway at the Fulton Theatre, 210 W. 46th St., on January 19, 1950 and ran for 92 performances. See more »

Goofs

Much is made of how the dog barks wildly every time it sees Howard; however, at the end when Howard is at the door, the dog runs by without even paying attention to him. See more »

Quotes

Howard Wilton: Mrs. Gordon...
Mrs. Helen Gordon: Yes?
Howard Wilton: Have I done anything to hurt you?
Mrs. Helen Gordon: No. Of course you haven't.
Howard Wilton: I'm glad. Because I wouldn't want to hurt you. But I might, you know.
Mrs. Helen Gordon: I don't believe that. You're just not feeling well, that's all.
Howard Wilton: [haltingly] You don't know what it means... like I do... to find myself in the... middle of a room... the middle of a busy street... or in some house I'm working in. A thing like that happens, I wonder where I am... what I'm doing. And sometimes I'm... I'm looking down at someone... ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Remade as Un homme dans la maison (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Deck the Halls
(uncredited)
Traditional Christmas carol, lyrics by Thomas Oliphant
The neighborhood children are singing the song in Helen's parlor
See more »

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User Reviews

Don't Place That Ad
22 November 2007 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

The movie with its single set, minimal cast, and straightforward photography (except for a couple of brief special effects) reminds me of one of those old 60 minute playhouse dramas so popular during TV's early years. Nonetheless, the suspense hangs heavy over poor war widow Ida Lupino as she tries to deal with her semi-psychotic handyman Robert Ryan before one of his mood-swings kills her. And who better to play the troubled part than that great actor Ryan. He wasn't very versatile-- watching him essay comedy is almost painful. But no one was better at wounded idealism (On Dangerous Ground) or the psychic pain of this movie. Few actors could express as much with their eyes as this lean and towering figure.

Lupino's problem is that she's locked up in her house with a man who is kind and gentle one moment and raging the next. The suspense comes from her various ploys to keep him happy while trying to escape. It's a nail-biter all the way. This is not one of Lupino's many fine "soulful" parts that she was so good at. Instead, it's a role many lesser actresses could have handled well enough. My favorite scene is with Ryan and bratty teenager Margaret Whiting. Ryan's already having difficulty with his masculinity and what others are saying about him. Then when Whiting walks in and finds the attractive-looking Ryan scrubbing the floor, she starts getting coy, flirting with her budding sexuality. Sensing trouble, Ryan abruptly fends her off-- finesse is not his strong suit. Insulted, Whiting attacks his masculinity by calling his work "women's work". That does it. Up to that point he's been courteous and professional with Lupino, trying to set himself on a normal path. But Whiting has hit his raw nerve. Now there's heck to pay as Whiting bounces out the door, leaving Lupino to pay the price. It's a riveting scene, expertly done.

Anyway, this is one of the dozen or so films produced by Lupino and her husband at a time when audiences were moving away from these little black-and-whites in favor of wide-screen spectacles. Too bad. What a hugely talented figure she was both behind the camera and in front. She deserves at least an honorary Oscar from a movie industry to which she contributed so much.


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