Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

TRAUMA (1962)

TRAUMA (1962). Writer/director: Robert Malcolm Young.

Young Emmaline (Lorrie Richards) loses her memory when she sees the murder of her aunt (Lynn Bari) at the family swimming pool. She already had the trauma that same evening of discovering that one of her friends was murdered, so this second death, personally witnessed, puts her over the edge. Some years later she returns to the house with her new husband, Warren (a snippy John Conte), and some memories begin to surface. There's an architect roaming the estate, some other shady characters, and Warren himself may be up to shady business. Will she remember the killer before he does away with her? Richards was "introduced" in this picture although she had previous credits, mostly television work as well as the film The Magic Sword. Her Emmaline is annoyingly hysterical throughout the movie. Conte did a lot of TV and voice-over work, and appeared several times on Perry Mason. Bari had appeared in films and on TV since the early thirties. Young had no subsequent directorial credits but did a lot of writing for television. Trauma holds the attention but it isn't very memorable. An unusual feature is that the credits for the film don't appear until fifteen minutes into the running time. The one-word dramatic title was probably meant to invoke comparisons with Psycho, but this movie is nowhere in the same league.

Verdict: Grade C minor "shocker" with some minor appeal. **1/2.






2 comments:

Madeleine Flynn said...

I thought Trauma was pretty good , despite the bad acting and out of place comedic relief ( provided by the architect's assistant). I'd give it 3 stars, for originality and general creepiness.

The paintings were pretty bad though!

William said...

After all this time I only remember the paintings vaguely. Well, at least the movie held my interest even if it wasn't a masterpiece.

Anyway, thank you for your comments.