(director: John Sturges; screenwriters: Jerry Davis/Edward Chodoroy/Charles Bennett/ based on the play by Edward Chodoroy/from a story by Hugh Walpole; cinematographer: Joseph Ruttenberg; editor: Ferris Webster; music: David Raksin; cast: Ethel Barrymore (Mary Herries), Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Edwards), Maurice Evans (Henry Springer Elcott), Keenan Wynn (Edwards), Betsy Blair (Ada Elcott), John Williams (Mr. Foster), Doris Lloyd (Rose); Runtime: 78; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Armand Deutsch; MGM; 1951)
“The remake outshines the original.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
It’s filmed in b/w. The creepy Edwardian costume chiller is based on the Broadway play by Edward Chodoroy and a story by Hugh Walpole. It was filmed before in 1935. John Sturges (“Ice Station Zebra”/”Bad Day at Black Rock”/”Joe Kidd”) directs this glossy above average drama with much tension, from a screenplay by Jerry Davis, Charles Bennett and Edward Chodoroy. The great Ethel Barrymore stars as the elderly genteel lady of wealth, who is preyed upon by the audacious charming evil con artist Maurice Evans. He moves into her house with his wife and enablers and makes her a prisoner, while looting her art collection. Angela Lansbury is fine as the villainous maid, Keenan Wynn is effective as the homicidal butler, and Betsy Blair is convincing as Evan’s pathetic wife.
The remake outshines the original. But I preferred Basil Rathbone in the original con artist role over Evans, who nevertheless made a worthy villain.
REVIEWED ON 4/1/2016 GRADE: B https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/