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Shock

USA 1946
produced by
Aubrey Schenck for 20th Century Fox
directed by Alfred L. Werker
starring Vincent Price, Lynn Bari, Frank Latimore, Anabel Shaw, Stephen Dunne, Reed Hadley, Renee Carson, Charles Trowbridge, John Davidson, Selmer Jackson, Robert Adler, Ruth Clifford, Mary Young
story by Albert DeMond, screenplay by Eugene Ling, additional dialogue by Martin Berkeley, music by David Buttolph

review by
Mike Haberfelner

... for a second opinion by Dale Pierce, Click Here !

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In a fit of rage, Doctor Richard Cross (Vincent Price) kills his wife, whom he has been cheating on for years with his assistant Elaine (Lynn Bari) anyways. Problem is, Nancy Stewart (Anabel Shaw), who stays in the hotel next door witnesses the whole thing. Fortunately for Doctor Cross though, the woman falls into an immediate state of shock, which is blamed on the fact that she was overly excited about the return of her husband Paul (Frank Latimore), who was first presumed dead, then held as a prisoner of war, and was supposed to meet her in the hotel after two years of absence. When Paul finally arrives though, he finds his wife completely traumatized, and since Doc Cross is a prominent psychiatrist and just happens to live next door, she is handed over to his care.

Cross takes Janet to his asylum, but instead of trying to cure her, he tries to make her sound insane, so that even if she reports the murder, nobody will believe her. In the meantime, he tries to get rid of the body (nobody knows his wife is dead yet), throwing her off some cliffs.

At first, everything goes as planned, and everybody believes Cross's wife has died in an accident, until one day, a nosey DA (Reed Hadley) shows up and suggests the woman did not have an accident but was actually killed by a burglar who has been prowling the neighbourhood. Soon enough, evidence is found, too, that she has been struck to death with a candlestick, but still, the burglar is suspected rather than Cross. This means one thing of course: He and Elaine have to get rid of Janet before she tears down their house of lies simply by telling her suspicions about the doctor being a killer to someone who cares to listen. Cross and Elaine decide to kill Janet by slowly overdosing her on insuline shots, which will look like nothing but a tragic accident during treatment.

Janet's husband Paul though has already listened to her, has put two and two together when hearing about Doctor Cross's wife's death, and now calls on Cross's colleague Doctor Harvey (Charles Trowbridge) for help, who is soon convinced that Paul's suspicions are reasonable and his wife might be in terrible danger - so they rush to their rescue ...

Meanwhile, Cross is preparing to let Janet die on the insuline overdose and realizes he can't just in the final moment. It is then that Elaine tries to push him to do it, but in a fit of rage, he kills Elaine instead of Janet, strangling her. Having killed the woman he loved, he falls into a weird state of stupor and lets Paul and Doc Harvey save Janet.

 

As far-fetched as the story of this little film noir sounds at first, it is actually translated into a screenplay remarkably well, and with Vincent Price, the movie has also the right actor for the lead role. That said though, the film is not exactly perfect, it suffers a bit from a very flat, even bland direction that's never able to overcome the low budget this film was made on, and Reed Hadley in a key role is a bit too wooden to really work. But that said, the film is still well worth a look.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

... and a second opinion by Dale Pierce ...

 


Vincent Price plays a psychiatrist having an affair who kills his wife with a candlestick when he announces he wishes a divorce and she refuses. He then disposes of her body bu dumping it off a cliff to make it look like an accidental fall. Complications arise when a young woman on a balcony witnesses the murder through the killer's window and goes into shock over the affair.

 

The boyfriend takes this disturbed girl to a doctor and who should her doctor be but....

Wait for it...

Wait for it...

Vincent Price.

No one saw it coming??????????

 

In treating the girl, Price of course finds out she witnessed the killing and thus does everything he can to hinder her recovery rather than help it along. When she comes to and tries to identify him as the killer, he has already convinced everyone she is mad. Thus the cat and mouse game begins, which is further complicated when the police start to suspect foul play rather than accidental death in the demise of the dead woman.

 

Price as usual, makes the film. Once again, he is at his cowardly best, masking his fear and insecurity with false bravado. He is a smirking, loathsome villain of the lowest order and again pulls off the role of a total dipshit, which of course made his career again and again. Vincent Price saved many films from being total disasters due to his acting ability. More Dead Than Alive, The Haunted Palace, The Pit & The Pendulum, The Abdominal Dr. Phibes and Theater Of Blood come to mind. In Shock, he does not have to save the film as a solo, for he has a decent script to work with, but his presence once again makes the movie.

 

In all, Shock is a tense film, though some of it gets a little predictable. It is well worth a look, and to think I discovered it by accident ...

 

review © by Dale Pierce

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD