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

Thursday, February 18, 2016

FRIGHT (1956)

FRIGHT (1956). Director: W. Lee Wilder.

A woman, Ann (Nancy Malone), who witnesses the capture of a deranged killer, Morley (Frank Marth), is comforted by a psychiatrist, James (Eric Fleming), with whom she becomes involved. During hypnosis, Ann reveals a second identity, that of Countess Maria Vetra, who was the ill-fated lover of Crown Prince Rudolph of Austria (see Mayerling). Is this a case of reincarnation, or has Ann been influenced by something else? As Maria's personality takes hold of Ann, James searches for the (real or imagined) reincarnation of the crown prince, and focuses on the crazy Morley, leading to a climax that is nearly as dull as the rest of the movie. This very low-budget picture has a completely idiotic script and presents a lead character who is one of the least ethical psychiatrists I've ever seen in a movie. One unintentionally hilarious scene has a reporter imagining that he'll win the Pulitzer prize for writing a story about Ann! Frank Marth and Nancy Malone aren't bad, but star Eric Fleming (Queen of Outer Space) is wooden, and some of the other actors are amateurish. There is absolutely nothing scary or even especially suspenseful about the movie, making it possibly the worst picture helmed by Wilder, who did several other poor ones but came up with a winner with Bluebeard's Ten Honeymoons. Nancy Malone starred in the "Stopover in a Quiet Town" episode of The Twilight Zone.

Verdict: Watching paint dry could be more exciting. 1/2*.

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