Review: ‘Guest in the House’

Hunt Stromberg's film version of the Hagar Wilde-Dale Eunson play [Dear Evelyn] is a bit on the arty side. Transition of a legit piece of this kind, dealing with a peculiar type of neurotic, to celluloid is obviously beset with difficulties. There are moments when the illusion is barely maintained. Yet it is a distinct credit to the direction, scripting and cast that the yarn has been made as believable as it is on the screen.

Hunt Stromberg’s film version of the Hagar Wilde-Dale Eunson play [Dear Evelyn] is a bit on the arty side. Transition of a legit piece of this kind, dealing with a peculiar type of neurotic, to celluloid is obviously beset with difficulties. There are moments when the illusion is barely maintained. Yet it is a distinct credit to the direction, scripting and cast that the yarn has been made as believable as it is on the screen.

Production’s most valuable asset, apart from its first-rate cast, is the suspense and action which are sustained throughout once the motivation is established.

Story is about girl (Anne Baxter) with bats in the belfry and a cardiac condition besides, who is taken into the home of a happy family at the request of the young doctor (Scott McKay) who has befriended her. The girl becomes infatuated with the medico’s older, married brother (Ralph Bellamy) and immediately proceeds to distill psychological poison, alienating one member of the family from another so that she can win the man of her choice.

Guest in the House

Production

United Artists. Director John Brahm; Producer Hunt Stromberg; Screenplay Ketti Frings; Camera Lee Garmes; Editor James Newcom, Walter Hanneman; Music Werner Janssen; Art Director Nicolai Remisoff

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1944. Running time: 117 MIN.

With

Anne Baxter Ralph Bellamy Aline MacMahon Ruth Warrick Scott McKay Marie McDonald
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