Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan


(The Hidden Room, UK, 1949)

A nice little thriller directed in England by Edward Dmytryk during the period he was blacklisted in Hollywood by the anti-Americans on the House Un-American Activities Committee. A doctor is fed up with his wife’s affairs, and vows to kill the next man she philanders with. To that end, he makes an elaborate plan, thinking, like all megalomaniacs, that the perfect crime involves intricate skullduggery, rather than simplicity. He imprisons the other man in a cell, chained at the leg, and keeps him there for months, planning to … well, I guess that shouldn’t be revealed, his dumb plan for disposing of the body. You know things will go wrong, but it’s fun finding out how. Robert Newton (Bill Sikes in David Lean’s classic Oliver Twist) is good as the doctor, but the picture is stolen once again by Naunton Wayne, as the imperturbable Scotland Yard detective, sort of England’s answer to Columbo.