Monday, December 31, 2012


After caring for her ailing parents then having them both die, Andrea King, on the verge of a nervous breakdown, is sent out West for a rest cure and meets the charming Helmut Dantine, a doctor of what would today be called alternative medicine (though, as he is at pains to point out, he is not an M.D.). They hit it off and are married within a week. Soon, King realizes that Dantine may be hiding some unsavory secrets: on their honeymoon, a man tries to shoot him (he blames Dantine's care or lack thereof for his wife's recent death) and two men are following him; then, when they head to his home in San Francisco, she finds out that he lives with his unfriendly sister, her crippled adult son (John Alvin) and Dantine's own sickly young son by a previous marriage. The topper, so she thinks, is that he is caught up in a nasty divorce proceeding—the two men following him are working for the ex-wife's lawyers—but there's actually something even worse: Dantine may be slowly poisoning his little boy. The plot and characters are interesting but the movie's low-budget prevents this from being the Hitchcockian thriller it wants to be. King and Dantine are both wooden—though at least Dantine looks creepy enough when he has to; the best acting is done by Alvin as the sister's son and William Prince as the lawyer. Dantine's health-food regimen is ahead of its time, though here it's shown to do more harm than good. The movie has its moments but by the home stretch, it's a bit of a slog. And the title has nothing to do with the movie, until they try really hard to make it mean something in the fade-out. [TCM]

No comments: