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

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Edmund Purdom and Ida Lupino
THE STRANGE INTRUDER (1956). Director: Irving Rapper.

During the Korean war, Paul Quentin (Edmund Purdom) promises his buddy Adrian (Donald Murphy of Frankenstein's Daughter) that he'll make contact with his family back home if he dies. After the war, during which Adrian is killed, Paul goes to his town to meet his family, who are unaware that he has mental and emotional problems -- they take to him as a surrogate of Adrian's. For some reason Paul takes too literally Adrian's telling him that he wants his children to be with him, and interprets this as meaning he must kill them...  The Strange Intruder works as neither drama nor suspense film, although Purdom gives a decent performance, as does Ida Lupino, playing Adrian's widow, Alice. The rest of the cast is interesting, too: a nearly unrecognizable Ann Harding [The Unknown Man] as Adrian's mother; Gloria Talbott as his sister; Douglas Kennedy as Alice's lawyer; and Jacques Bergerac [The Hypnotic Eye] as an ex-lover who is out to blackmail Alice. Carl Benton Reid of Amos Burke Secret Agent is on hand as Adrian's disabled father, who is able to walk again right after he meets Paul. [This also fails as an allegory, if that was what was intended.] Irving Rapper directed much better pictures, such as Now, Voyager.

Verdict: This should have been a half hour episode of some fifties dramatic series, and even then it might not have amounted to much. **.

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