9 user 3 critic

Voice in the Mirror (1958)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, Thriller | 23 December 1958 (UK)
Jim Burton has become a chronic alcoholic since the death of his young daughter, and is cared for by hard-working wife. A doctor's warning that Jim could become mentally ill strikes enough ... See full summary »


Harry Keller


Lawrence B. Marcus (as Larry Marcus)




Complete credited cast:
Richard Egan ... Jim Burton
Julie London ... Ellen Burton
Walter Matthau ... Dr. Leon Karnes
Troy Donahue ... Paul Cunningham
Harry Bartell ... Harry Graham
Peggy Converse Peggy Converse ... Mrs. Harriet Cunningham - Paul's Mother
Ann Doran ... Mrs. Devlin
Mae Clarke ... Mrs. Robbins
Max Showalter ... Don Martin (as Casey Adams)
Hugh Sanders ... A.W. Hornsby
Ken Lynch ... Frank - Bartender
Doris Singleton ... Liz Perkins
Dave Barry ... Quintet Pianist
Alan Dexter ... Bartender
Arthur O'Connell ... William R. 'Bill' Tobin


Jim Burton has become a chronic alcoholic since the death of his young daughter, and is cared for by hard-working wife. A doctor's warning that Jim could become mentally ill strikes enough fear into him that he really wants to cure himself, but he can't. One night, he meets William Tobin, a fellow drunk, and finds that he helps himself by trying to help Tobin. Thus is born, amid setbacks, a group resembling Alcoholics Anonymous. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

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"You can't do anything for the craving - so don't waste your time!" See more »


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Did You Know?


Dr. Leon Karnes: Why does Ellen keep bringing you around here? What does she expect a few cc's of vitamins to do?
Jim Burton: Ellen's a girl that lives by faith.
Dr. Leon Karnes: And you?
[he scoffs]
Jim Burton: I miss your bedside manner, Leon.
Dr. Leon Karnes: Well make a payment on the bill and I'll see what I can do.
Dr. Leon Karnes: I didn't mean that. Boy, what you do to me. You know I'm really a very nice fella. You should hear me on the phone at three o'clock in the morning soothing some poor old hypochondriac; gentle, kindly, understanding. But you?
Dr. Leon Karnes: The Case history of the two Jim ...
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Written by Bobby Troup and Julie London
Sung behind credits by Julie London
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User Reviews

This movie -- in a theater, almost new -- started my life-long love of film noir!
20 August 2006 | by HandlinghandelSee all my reviews

My father used to take me to a third-run theater on Saturday afternoons. We'd see what then was considered action fare for boys. Well, on the lower half of the bill with some Technicolor undersea drama, on came this dark, black and white movie. I wanted to stay but my father said it was too frown-up for me. I hadn't seen it since then! And, it was worth the wait. This is an excellent movie. It's very dark indeed: Though "The Lost Weekend" is a superb movie -- technically far superior to this -- "A Voice In The Mirror is harder-hitting.

We really believe that Richard Egan is an alcoholic. I have friends who are alcoholics and they still act just as this character did almost 50 years ago: They lie, throw pity parties, steal.

I love the exchange between Egan and acerbic family doctor Walter Matthau. Egan says he has needed to drink since his wife (the gorgeous Julie London) and he lost their young daughter. Matthau tells him he's been using that excuse for too long. "One of these days," he says, "you would have broken a shoelace and that would have set you off if Laura's death hadn't." It's an illness. It's a terrible illness, frightening to everyone concerned. Matthau sees through the poor-me story, though, which is what people need.

My point is not to preach. I am no expert. But this movie (now preserved in letterbox) is undeservedly obscure. It's a fine work on its own. And, I will be forever grateful to it for introducing me at a very tender age to the world of film noir.

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Release Date:

23 December 1958 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

This Day Alone See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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