Monday, May 07, 2012


Heiress Jeanne Crain has had a whirlwind one-month courtship with Carl Betz, a handsome man aboutwhom she knows almost nothing.  They get married by a justice of the peace and take off for their honeymoon on a cruise ship headed for Europe.  He romantically carries her over the threshold of their cabin, heads off on some errand, and says he'll meet her at the bar, but he never shows up.  When Crain goes looking for him, no one believes he exists:  the room she claimed they were in is unoccupied and her luggage is in a different room, into which she's registered under her maiden name.  Worst of all, the one person who she knows saw them together, a maid who was in the room when he carried her in, claims that she's never seen her before.  Michael Rennie, the sympathetic ship's doctor, tries to calm her down and figure out what's what.  That night, Betz calls her from a phone on board, says they're in danger and to trust no one, then hangs up.  Naturally, Crain becomes even more unsettled.  Rennie discovers that she is prone to depression since her father died a few months ago, but slowly he begins to believe her story.  Also involved are a kindly (or is she?) single gal who befriends Crain, a old, sinister (or is he?) German man with a cane who always seems to be in the way, a friendly ship's officer who remembers seeing Crain get on board but not her husband, and a mysteriously ill officer who may or may not have appendicitis.

Fox issued this as part of their Film Noir DVD line, but I fail to see anything about it that is in the least bit noir-ish.  It's an enjoyable B-thriller with several pleasures:  it was shot on the standing set of Fox's earlier big-budget film TITANIC so the backgrounds look good; the fogbound nighttime scenes on the deck are incredibly atmospheric;  the plot is easy to follow but twisty enough to keep you on your toes--you'll figure out who's good and who's bad with no trouble, but the explanation for how things get pulled off makes for a nice twist.  Crain overdoes the hysterics a bit, but she always looks good; Rennie is low-key but effective.  Betz (pictured) doesn't get much screen time, but he's memorable.  [DVD]  

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