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

Thursday, April 10, 2008

OUTRAGE (1950)

OUTRAGE (1950). Director: Ida Lupino.

Ann Walton (Mala Powers) is a happy young women who has just been proposed to by Jim Owens (Robert Clarke), the man she's in love with. She's looking forward to a happy future when her future is compromised by a run-in with a rapist who assaults her. The first half of Outrage realistically details the effects of rape on a young woman, as Ann withdraws from her friends and family, shuns her fiance, and feels guilt and shame over an incident that was certainly not her fault. She eventually suffers a breakdown and runs off, coming under the protection of a kindly, attractive priest (Tod Andrews). But then the movie descends into melodrama, and Powers, frankly, isn't up to the challenges of the role. What could have been a powerful film is simply deadly dull. Lupino's direction isn't bad, but it doesn't do much to make the script, weak as it is, come alive. Robert Clarke, who appeared in several genre items in the fifties such as The Hideous Sun Demon, makes a nice impression as the boyfriend (Clarke did a lot of work on nighttime soaps during the 70's.) Powers appeared in Unknown Terror and Andrews was in From Hell it Came.

Verdict: Not memorable but deserves an A for effort, and for tackling a controversial theme. *1/2.

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