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: Woman In Hiding (1950)  ( 1044 )
cigar joe
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« : June 29, 2012, 07:17:33 PM »

Director: Michael Gordon Stars: Ida Lupino, Stephen McNally and Howard Duff.

Nice noir in TCM today, From IMDb:

Lupino imperiled, Duff to rescue: Above-average thriller, 16 March 2002

Author: bmacv from Western New York

We first hear Ida Lupino's voice, in sepulchral voice-over, as we watch the wreck of a car that has plummeted over a bridge in North Carolina. "That's my body they're looking for..." she informs us. She's having a bad year; her father has died suddenly in an "accident" in the mill he owned and she up and married its general manager (Steven McNally), whom her father loathed (with reason: McNally killed him). On her wedding night she learned the truth about McNally (who seemed to specialize in deranged, controlling husbands, as in Make Haste to Live), and, trying to flee, found herself in a vehicle which he had rendered brakeless.

She's presumed dead, leaving McNally to inherit the mill (his plan all along), but just to be sure he puts out a reward for finding her. And Howard Duff, a newsstand clerk at a bus station in a nearby town, spots her, now blonde and on the lam. They strike a few sparks, but McNally convinces Duff that Lupino is emotionally disturbed, insuring that she'll be institutionalized and under his thumb.

All in all, Woman in Hiding's title says it all: It's a fairly standard woman-in-distress picture, but one with a superior cast. In addition to the tried-and-true team of Lupino and Duff (they were married at the time), Peggy Dow invests her few brief scenes as a ruthless rival for McNally's attention with memorable flair. The film looks good, too, especially in the darkened mill at the conclusion -- a conclusion which anticipates by a couple of years that of Sudden Fear, in which Joan Crawford fends of a homicidal busband who's got a bad girl on the side. Woman in Hiding is no masterpiece, nor is it one of Lupino's best performances, but it's well made, swift and satisfying.

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!

« #1 : September 27, 2017, 11:07:36 AM »

In addition to the tried-and-true team of Lupino and Duff (they were married at the time)

I think they didn't marry till a year later C.J.?


« #2 : September 27, 2017, 11:08:14 AM »

There's trouble at mill.

Woman in Hiding is directed by Michael Gordon and adapted to screenplay by Oscar Saul and Roy Huggins from a story by James Webb. It stars Ida Lupino, Stephen McNally, Howard Duff and Peggy Dow. Music is by Milton Schwarzwald and cinematography by William H. Daniels.

After the mysterious death of her father, a quickfire marriage to a hugely suspicious man, and an attempt on her life, Deborah Chandler Clark (Lupino) is forced to assume a new identity and go into hiding...

No great shakes as regards the plot line, it's a standard woman in peril piece, where we the viewers know what's going on and only really await for what we hope is a punchy resolution to it all. However, overcoming the simplicity of formula, it's a film nicely constructed and performed, with plenty of suspense, tightly wound anticipation and some very pleasing visual accompaniments.

Opening with a guarded voice over from Lupino''s character, mood is nicely set at noir influenced. From here we quickly get to know the principle players and are quickly on Deborah's side. Peril and emotional pain is never far away with Gordon (The Web) and ace photographer Daniels (The Naked City) complicit in mood enhancements. Cue a cabin at nighttime bathed in oppressive moonlight, shadowed window bars striking facial menace - and as Deborah's peril grows greater - an imposing staircase ripe for a dastardly deed, Then we hit the last quarter of film and the quality really shines through. A steam train at night is grand, a splendid setting, but that is just a precursor to the exciting denouement at the deserted mill of Deborah's birthright. Daniels excels, his photography straight out of a noir fever dream, all while the industrial churning of the mill machinery adds impetus to the thrilling conclusion.

It needed more of a black heart as per outcome to be a definitive noir pic, but it comes safely recommended to noir enthusiasts regardless. 7/10

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« #3 : September 27, 2017, 12:35:39 PM »

I like this one too. As already stated, a maybe formulaic plot but a good cast that elevates a film that could easily have been pedestrian.

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dave jenkins
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« #4 : September 28, 2017, 11:42:25 AM »

The film has one monumental plot problem: why does the woman hide? Why doesn't she simply go to the police?

Had I been at the story conference I would have suggested this: the woman goes into hiding in order to exact a slow and humiliating revenge on her betrayer. McNally would get the treatment Bogart got in Conflict. Of course, then it would no longer be a Woman In Peril film, but I'd be OK with that.

That's what you get, Drink, for not appreciating the genius of When You Read This Letter.
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