|STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT (director: Anthony Mann; screenwriters: Bryant Ford/Paul Gangelin/based on a story by Phillip MacDonald; cinematographer: Reggie Lanning; editor: Arthur Roberts; music: Morton Scott; cast: Audley Anderson (Train Conductor), William Terry (Sgt. Johnny Meadows), Virginia Grey (Dr. Leslie Ross), Helene Thimig (Mrs. Hilda Blake), Edith Barrett (Ivy Miller), Ann O'Neal (Nurse Thompson); Runtime: 56; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Rudolph E. Abel; Republic (Olive Films); 1944)|
|"A study in
insanity that packs a punch as it relates a
bizarre loneliness story."
by Dennis Schwartz
Mann ("Cimarron"/"Man of the West"/"The
Naked Spur") directs this Republic minor noir film, a
study in insanity that packs a punch as it relates a
bizarre loneliness story. It's based on a
story by Phillip MacDonald. Writers Bryant Ford
and Paul Gangelin adapt it to the screen.
Warning: spoiler in the next
from a back wound, Marine Sgt. Johnny
Meadows (William Terry),
stationed during the war in the South Pacific,
receives romantic pen pal mail from a girl named
Rosemary Blake. He doesn't know that she's a
fictitious girl made up by the lonely Hilda Blake (Helene
Thimig, German actress who escaped to Hollywood),
who wished she had a daughter. When the soldier comes
home and looks up the letter writer, Hilda tells him
she's away, but invites him to stay with her as a
guest in her remote mansion on top of a hill.
Meanwhile Johnny has met on the train Hilda's
attractive doctor Leslie Ross (Virginia Grey) and
helps her deal with the casualties after the
accidental train wreck. Johnny then dates Leslie while
living with Hilda. When Hilda's friend Ivy (Edith
Barrett), another live-in guest, tells Johnny
the truth, a crazed Hilda kills her and then attempts
to kill Johnny, but a giant wall painting of her
fantasy daughter falls on her and instantly kills her
(as she's metaphorically killed by trying to live in
the imaginary world).
REVIEWED ON 9/12/2014 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ