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

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Triangle: Newton, Brown and Gray
OBSESSION (aka The Hidden Room/1949). Director: Edward Dmytryk.

Psychiatrist Clive Riordan (Robert Newton of 1952's Les Miserables) discovers that his wife Storm (Sally Gray) is carrying on with a sort of cousin, Bill (Phil Brown of Weird Woman), and decides to take matters in hand. He kidnaps the latter at gunpoint and takes him to an isolated location and chains him up. The two men have most civilized discussions about when and how Clive is going to murder Bill and how he's going to get rid of the body, wanting to experiment on Storm's little doggie at one point, which Bill strenuously objects to. Meanwhile, Storm doesn't go to the police to avoid a scandal -- what a gal! This doesn't stop Superintendent Finsbury (Naunton Wayne) from investigating Bill's disappearance, however. Will the headshrinker be found out before he has a chance to do away with his rival?  Obsession is low-key [like Newton] and unexceptional, but manages to be entertaining in spite of it, with fairly good acting, although most of the time Phil Brown doesn't seem nearly as harried, hungry or upset as he ought to be. Stiff upper lip is one thing, but most people in his situation would be literally crawling the walls. Dmytryk also directed Captive Wild Woman and many, many other films.

Verdict: Okay low-budget British suspense film. **1/2. 

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