Woman in the Dark

1934

Crime / Drama

0
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 20%
IMDb Rating 6 10 387

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN

Director

Cast

Charles Williams as Hotel Desk Clerk
Ralph Bellamy as John Bradley
Melvyn Douglas as Tony Robson
Fay Wray as Louise Loring

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer 4 / 10

Douglas plays a nice heavy, but the rest of the film isn't all that distinguished.

This film is also known under the title "Woman in the Shadows".

Fay Wray, Ralph Bellamy,and Melvyn Douglas star in this film. It's obviously not a prestige film for the studio—as Bellamy and especially Douglas are far from familiar faces when the film debuted.

The film begins with Bellamy being released from prison following a conviction for manslaughter—as he killed a man while having a fight. He knows he has a serious anger problem and needs to control it if he plans on staying on the good side of the law. However, a local sheriff seems determined to lock him up again—and the ultra-sleazy Douglas hatches a plan to destroy Bellamy—all after they have a fight that is prompted by Douglas' sexually assault on Wray! At first Wray and Bellamy try to escape—then Wray tries to kiss up to Douglas to get him to drop the charges following the fight. In the end, however, there's a bit of a twist and all is right once again. Overall, this isn't a bad time-passer, but the plot seems pretty tough to believe and the story never really felt that engaging. In addition, when the film began it made a big writing boo-boo. There was way too much exposition to explain back story instead of allowing the action to explain it. In other words, characters had VERY stilted conversations in which they discussed the back story with characters that already should have known this. Sloppy.

Reviewed by bkoganbing 3 / 10

Written by Dashiell Hammett

About the only reason to see this poverty row film released by RKO is the fact that the original story was written by Dashiell Hammett. Even the presence of leads like Ralph Bellamy, Fay Wray, and Melvyn Douglas can't save it. And anyone who thinks that they will see The Thin Man, any of the versions of The Maltese Falcon, or The Dain Curse is in for a rude shock.

A shoddy production with bad editing can even defeat these talented people. Ralph Bellamy is a parolee released from prison and has Fay Wray who is trying to get away from her cad of a lover Melvyn Douglas. Cutting through a lot Douglas frames parolee Bellamy for assault and he has the dubious choice of taking it on the lam or finding out the real story of what happened to Reed Brown, the friend of Douglas that Bellamy is accused of assaulting.

When you watch the aforementioned Dashiell Hammett classics you know how interesting Hammett's supporting characters are. The players do their best but it's like all that might make them interesting seems drained from the screenplay. The editing is totally slipshod as well.

I'd watch this just to have an object lesson at how even a classic author can get butchered with a bad screen adaption.

Reviewed by Hitchcoc 6 / 10

He Doesn't Listen Well!

I've known of Ralph Bellamy for most of my life. During the fifties and sixties, he was a bit of a staple in television dramas and had a fairly extensive movie career. Rediscovering him in some of these old films, he appears to have a quality that was utilized. He was frequently used as a very masculine character, a kind of dominator of women. He seems to be characterized as a person who once he makes his mind up, won't listen to anyone. This is no exception. He has been framed and put in prison for manslaughter, his temper getting the best of him. It isn't long before he is in trouble again, hooking up with Fay Wray (who really was quite beautiful) and alienating a few people in his community. The problem with all this is that we are expected to believe that people will act in such knee jerk ways, not looking at evidence. Of course, the good guys don't help because instead of pleading their cases, they just take off. Shootings occur and people end up making deals when a simple explanation would have probably circumvented the whole thing. This is a sort of pleasant movie, but not worth a whole lot. There is some pretty bad comic relief that only distracts from what is supposed to be serious.

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