AMONG THE LIVING (1941)
Article #676 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 1-20-2003
Posting date: 6-19-2003
A businessman discovers that his supposedly dead twin brother is not only alive, but insane.
This thriller is anchored by a great performance in a dual role by Albert Dekker; he does particularly well with Paul, the insane brother, a childlike man who has been isolated from the world for 25 years, and then finds himself loose in it; he is unpredictable, both sympathetic and scary, and he easily steals the movie. It’s no coincidence that the movie is strongest during its first two-thirds, when the focus is very much on the insane brother. The last third of the movie is less so; the focus turns upon a reward for the man’s capture, and a vigilante mob forms to find and possibly execute him; this part of the movie is less convincing, relies a little too much on coincidence, and ultimately disappoints; I get the sense that the writers really didn’t know what to do with the situation they set up. Still, Dekker’s performance makes this definitely worth catching. The movie also features Harry Carey, Susan Hayward (another great performance), and Frances Farmer.