Betrayed (1944)

BETRAYED (1944)
(a.k.a. WHEN STRANGERS MARRY)
Article #1249 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-15-2004
Posting Date: 1-12-2005
Directed by William Castle
Featuring Dean Jagger, Kim Hunter, Robert Mitchum

A woman goes to New York to meet the salesman she married a month ago, but worries when he doesn’t appear. She does meet an old boyfriend, though, who helps her to find her husband.

The only fantastic content in this movie is a certain dark and scary atmosphere at points that gives it a slight horror feel. In other words, it’s pretty marginal. It’s so marginal, in fact, that I feel the need to reiterate at this point that this series of write-ups on fantastic (science fiction, fantasy and horror) movies compiles its watching lists from other sources that claim to cover the same genres; in this case, the movie is listed in John Stanley’s “Creature Features Strikes Again Movie Guide”. If I end up watching a movie that is this marginal, I cover it anyway, if for no other reason than to say that I don’t think it qualifies.

With that out of the way, I do have to say that this one is pretty good. It also has some fine performances, especially from Robert Mitchum. It’s also, by coincidence, the second movie in a row directed by William Castle from his pre-horror period, and unless I’m mistaken, (and I don’t appear to be if IMDB is correct), he manages to get his own face into the movie in the form of a photograph that is mistakenly used to identify the killer. For fans of noirish crime films, this is highly recommended, with my main warning being that you shouldn’t think too much about the story, as the premise hinges on a coincidence that becomes more and more unbelievable the more you think about it.

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