Behind Locked Doors
Eugene Ling for Aro Productions/Eagle-Lion
directed by Budd Boetticher
starring Lucille Bremer, Richard Carlson, Douglas Fowley, Ralf Harolde, Thomas Browne Henry, Herbert Heyes, Gwen Donovan, John Holland, Tor Johnson, Dickie Moore, Trevor Bardette, Morgan Farley, Kathleen Freeman, Tony Horton, Wally Vernon
story by Malvin Wald, screenplay by Malvin Wald, Eugene Ling
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Judge Drake (Herbert Heyes), a man who has not only fallen from grace
within his profession but is on the run from the law with a 10,000 Dollar
ticket to his head, seems to be hiding out at doc Porter's (Thomas Browne
Henry) private insane asylum, but only reporter Kathy Lawrence (Lucille
Bremer) this lead on him, which is why she persuades private eye Ross
Stewart (Richard Carlson) to go undercover and become a patient of the
asylum - to ultimately get his hands on the judge for real.
quick to find out there are several things wrong with the asylum, which is
run almost like a prison, and that there is a special closed ward for
violent patients that's especially guarded by the doctor and his sadistic
head warden Larson (Douglas Fowley). Still, thanks to some trickery
Stewart comes face to face with the judge, but is soon found out by the
judge and Doc Porter and locked into a cell with one of the asylum's
violent patients, a former boxer (Tor Johnson) who starts fighting
everytime he hears a bell.
Fortunately though, Kathy on the outside has
somehow figured out Stewart is in trouble and has made her way into the
asylum with a gun - and eventually, she saves Stewart's life. Then though,
the boxer breaks loose and takes care of violent warden Larson before the
police arrives thanks to the phonecall of another sympathetic warden (Ralf
Harolde) and takes care of everything.
Nice little thriller of
the insane asylum variety that keeps its audience entertained thoughout
thanks to very steady pacing and a pretty elegant directorial effort. And
even if the story is not 100% plausible, it's told in a believable way and
at least makes sense as long as the film is on. Apart from that, this is
probably the first movie in which Tor Johnson plays more than a
one-dimensional character - and he's quite convincing as the tragic
has-been plagued by fits of violence.