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

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Douglas Dick and Loretta Young
THE ACCUSED (1949). Director: William Dieterle.

"What do you think suicides are? Some little person thinks their little problems are all that matter in the world." -- Dr. Tuttle

College psychology professor Dr. Wilma Tuttle (Loretta Young) is concerned with a brilliant but brash and difficult student named Bill Perry (Douglas Dick). When Bill forces a smooch on her at an isolated spot, she reacts by hitting him repeatedly and killing him. Instead of coming clean, she covers up and hopes his death will be attributed to a bad dive off of a cliff into the water below; he was wearing swimming trunks. Perry's lawyer, Warren Ford (Robert Cummings), who didn't really know Perry that well nor especially like him, comes to town and begins a romance with Wilma even as homicide detective Lt. Ted Dorgan (Wendell Corey) begins to get suspicious ... The Accused features a good lead performance from Young [Because of You], fine support from an especially notable Douglas Dick and the wry, sardonic Corey [The Big Knife], but Bob Cummings is horribly miscast [as he always was in movies like this] and is terrible. Another  problem with the movie is that while Perry does kiss Wilma forcibly and without permission, it doesn't necessarily mean he would have sexually assaulted her, and her viciously hitting him over and over again seems like literal overkill. Sara Allgood and Ann Doran are also in the cast, and Sam Jaffe offers a flavorful performance as Dr. Romley, whom Wilma finds ghoulish. Victor Young's score is a plus, and Ketti Frings' screenplay has some interesting dialogue. Unfortunately The Accused runs out of gas long before it's over. Dieterle directed Dark City and many, many others.

Verdict: Physician, heal thyself. **.

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