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

Thursday, October 22, 2015


Helene Thimig
STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT (1944). Director: Anthony Mann.

Sgt. Johnny Meadows (William Terry) has exchanged letters with a young lady named Rosemary, and is on his way to Marteflores to finally meet her in the flesh. But he encounters another young woman, a doctor named Leslie (Virginia Grey), on a train and the two are immediately attracted to one another. Leslie turns out to be the new doctor in Marteflores, and pays a call on Rosemary's family, as does Johnny. There to greet them are Rosemary's mother. Hilda (Helene Thimig), and Hilda's companion, Ivy (Edith Barrett of I Walked with a Zombie). But where the hell is Rosemary? Most viewers will figure out what's going on, but there's still a twist or two. The leads are fine, but the picture is stolen by a wonderful Barrett, and Thimig is outstanding in her portrait of a seriously disturbed and lonely woman -- she is beautifully dramatic without chewing the scenery. Anne O'Neal is also notable as Leslie's nurse. This is a compelling little "B" movie, less than an hour long, that is bolstered by the acting. The appealing Terry also starred in Johnny Doesn't Live Here Anymore. Anthony Mann turned out lower-budgeted movies like this for Republic before going on to bigger and better items like The Furies and many others.

Verdict: Loneliness kills. ***.

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