Monday, July 31, 2006

The Hidden Room (aka Obsession 1949)

Posted by Curt

This is a terrific little film noir about an insanely jealous husband, played by Robert Newton, who discovers that his lovely wife is playing around with another man. Newton snatches the man and takes him to an abandoned bomb shelter where he ends up locking the man away in a room. He then chains this other man to the wall, and makes the chain long enough so he can move to and from his bed and be able to get to the bathroom and that's it. Every day Robert Newton, who plays a doctor in this movie, bring a can of acid to this room and slowly fills up the bathtub where he intends to eventually murder the philander in.

This movie is a wonderfully rendered story that displays a logical mind at work, relishing the idea of what he is going to do, and watching his enemy suffer slowly, knowing full well that one day soon he will have to die for his mis-deeds against his sultry wife. Now the overall main reason to view this picture is to be able to feast one's eyes on the gloriously lovely Sally Gray, a British actress who to the best of knowledge did not appear in very many films. Her astute and keen intelligence is part and parcel of her beauty; this beautiful woman is head and shoulders above any other cinema blonde actress imho.

I highly recommend this rarely watched gem to anyone
Of course, the Scotland Yard inspector who is on the case looking for the missing man, played by Phil Brown, is relentless in his pursuit of finding his whereabouts. In the end, the inspector finally uncovers the truth from the good doctor, who, after hiding this man out for some five months begins making some telltale mistakes, and Phil Brown is discovered by the police in the abandoned building. There is a neat twist ending to this movie even though it is somewhat predictable. Robert Newton did a splendid job as always with his character, especially when he gets to play a person who is rational on the outside, and nuttier than a bag of peanuts on the inside. Phil Brown turned in a decent performance as a man who had no idea what was coming next in his long imprisonment, and the taut, tight direction of the great Edward Dmytryk made this suspenser well worth watching.

I highly recommend this rarely watched gem to anyone who has yet to see it.


Anonymous said...

i saw this movie 28 years ago in utah on t.v.-----did not know the name & could not rent it from any video store for the family due to sketchy rememberance!---this is an excellent movie & i wish they would play it on 'turner classic movies'---

Anonymous said...

This is one of my favorite films, but I can't find it on DVD. I have only an old homemade VHS tape. The film really is very compelling, and Robert Newton is great as the obsessed, jealous husband.

Anonymous said...

saw this a long time ago, couldn't remember its name

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