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

Thursday, April 12, 2018


Nils Asther and Jane Randolph
JEALOUSY (1945). Director: Gustav Machaty.

Peter Urban (Nils Asther of Storm at Daybreak) was a successful author before he fled Europe, but in the U.S. he has become a bitter, alcoholic and suicidal failure. His wife, Janet (Jane Randolph of The Mysterious Mr. M) drives a cab to make ends meet. One afternoon she meets a kindly doctor, David Brent (John Loder), and the two fall in love. Although she feigns happiness over this development, Brent's assistant, Monica (Karen Morley of The Mask of Fu Manchu), is secretly heartbroken. Then someone gets shot in the head ... Jealousy is an interesting romantic melodrama with some poetic touches that just misses being really special. The screenplay could have used more development (and more running time) and the two leads -- Randolph and Loder -- are barely adequate as the lovers. Asther is more effective as Peter, and the best performances come from Morley as the complicated Monica and Hugo Haas (who directed quite a few cheap thrillers) as Peter's amiable friend, a minor actor named Hugo Kral. There's a lovely scene when Monica first learns that David is in love with someone else, and she goes into the bedroom to change, making happy talk for his sake, but we see in the mirror a true reflection of her inner feelings. Another interesting moment occurs when Monica, who has written a medical tome, inscribes it lovingly to her "friend," Janet, as Janet and David talk of their plans in the next room. Director Machaty, who was responsible for Hedy Lamarr's Ecstasy, does his best to add some stylish camera angles and the like to the low-budget production. The story was by Dalton Trumbo. Machaty also directed Within the Law, but much of his directorial work in the U.S. went uncredited.

Verdict: Interesting entry from Republic pictures. ***.


angelman66 said...

This looks interesting and worthwhile, especially with a story by the prolific Dalton Trumbo. Will seek it out!

William said...

On youtube, of course. Karen Morley walks off with the movie.