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

Monday, April 21, 2008

EXPERIMENT PERILOUS


EXPERIMENT PERILOUS (1944). Director: Jacques Tourneur.

In 1903 Hunt Bailey (George Brent), a psychiatrist, gets involved with the Bederaux family, who are keeping secrets. Nick Bederaux (Paul Lukas) wants Bailey to examine his wife, Allida (Hedy Lamarr), whose behavior, he believes, is having a negative effect on their cute little boy (a charming, uncredited child actor). Bailey suspects that it's Nick who's having a negative effect on his beautiful wife, but then Bailey is falling in love with her. Surprisingly, Tourneur does very little with this material, but the script might have even taxed Hitchcock. Slow, unconvincing and dull, there's no suspense and no peril in the movie until the very last few minutes. Albert Dekker is a friend of Bailey's and Margaret Wycherly is his maid, Maggie. The material gives the actors little to work with, but Lukas comes off best.

Verdict: An experiment in tedium. *1/2.

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