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

Thursday, March 25, 2010


TORMENTED (1960). Director: Bert I. Gordon.

Jazz pianist Tom Stewart's (Richard Carlson) girlfriend, singer Vi Mason (Juli Reding) understandably has a bad reaction when he tells her he's getting married to the wealthy Meg Hubbard (Lugene Sanders). When the lighthouse railing she's leaning against gives way, Stewart doesn't make a move to save her, and rationalizes that he was not responsible for her death. Vi comes back at inopportune moments to haunt him, making his behavior baffle Meg and her little sister Sandy (Susan Gordon, daughter of the director). The basic plot of Tormented is workable, but this is one of low-budget director Gordon's few boring pictures, and is on occasion unintentionally humorous. Composer and frequent Gordon collaborator Albert Glasser turns in what is probably his worst score ever. Carlson is okay if a bit perfunctory. The best performances come from generally dependable Gene Roth [fine in Earth vs the Spider; awful in Captain Video] as a lunch stand operator, and Joe Turkel as a guy who tries to blackmail Stewart; Turkel mostly worked on television. A scene when Vi's ghost interrupts the wedding falls flat. Photographed by Ernest Laszlo!

Verdict: Stick to The Cyclops instead. **.

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