“There’s a limit to this business of being brothers.”
A sociopathic writer (Louis Hayward) enlists the help of his brother (Lee Bowman) in hiding the body of a maid (Dorothy Patrick) he’s accidentally strangled.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Falsely Accused
- Fritz Lang Films
- Hiding Dead Bodies
- Historical Drama
- Jane Wyatt Films
This little-seen historical melodrama by Fritz Lang is arguably the film in his oeuvre “with the strongest camp appeal”. Featuring a sociopathic protagonist we come to despise within 10 minutes of his appearance on-screen, the gothic storyline moves inexorably towards Hayward’s downfall — though there remains a fair amount of suspense in wondering just how he’ll get there, and how many other people he’ll manage to hurt along the way. As noted in Digitally Obsessed’s review, “It’s a pretty trashy soap opera of a movie, overheated and crammed with melodrama, the sort of picture that will have you cheering the hero and hissing the villain” — and the film does suffer a bit from its rather predictable set-up (including an obligatory would-be romance between Hayward’s wife [Jane Wyatt] and Bowman). However, Lang does a fine job maintaining moody atmosphere throughout — thanks in part to Edward Cronjager’s cinematography — and Hayward is surprisingly memorable and weaselly in the lead role. Worth a look, but not must-see viewing.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Louis Hayward as Stephen
- Edward Cronjager’s atmospheric cinematography
No, though it’s worth a one-time look.