Hangover Square (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Brahm|
|Produced by||Robert Bassler|
|Screenplay by||Barré Lyndon|
|Based on||Hangover Square
by Patrick Hamilton
|Music by||Bernard Herrmann|
|Edited by||Harry Reynolds|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
Hangover Square is a 1945 film noir directed by John Brahm, based on the novel Hangover Square (1941) by Patrick Hamilton. The screenplay was written by Barré Lyndon who made a number of changes to the novel, including the transformation of George Harvey Bone into a classical composer-pianist and filming the story as an early 20th-century period piece.
In Victorian London (the date 1899 is shown in the opening scene), the police suspect that a composer who suffers from periods of amnesia may be a murderer.
The period setting creates a dark mood, especially in the key scene when Bone (portrayed by Laird Cregar), having strangled Netta (Linda Darnell) on Guy Fawkes Night, carries her wrapped body through streets filled with revelers and deposits it on top of the biggest bonfire.
- Laird Cregar as George Harvey Bone
- Linda Darnell as Netta Longdon
- George Sanders as Dr. Allan Middleton
- Glenn Langan as Eddie Carstairs
- Faye Marlowe as Barbara Chapman
- Alan Napier as Sir Henry Chapman
Cregar at one stage refused the role and was put on suspension. Glen Lanagan was announced as his replacement. But Cregar then changed his mind.
The film received mixed reviews. The staff at Variety magazine liked the film and wrote, "Hangover Square is eerie murder melodrama of the London gaslight era—typical of Patrick Hamilton yarns, of which this is another. And it doesn't make any pretense at mystery. The madman-murderer is known from the first reel...Production is grade A, and so is the direction by John Brahm, with particular bows to the music score by Bernard Herrmann." The New York Times claimed, "There is not a first-class shiver in the whole picture."
CD release of Herrmann's music
In 2010, the British label Chandos released a CD that includes a 17-minute concert suite from Hangover Square, assembled by Stephen Hogger. The film's musical tour-de-force is a sonata movement for piano and orchestra in the Lisztian style (where the scherzo and adagio movements, which are typical as succeeding movements in a concerto, are compressed and presented in place of a central development). Slightly revised by the composer in 1973 for Charles Gerhardt's RCA film music series and retitled Concerto Macabre, it has been recorded by RCA, Naïve, Koch and Naxos, in addition to the recording paired with Hogger's suite. Save for that released by RCA, all of the recordings of the Concerto relied on the version edited and engraved in 1992 by Christopher Husted, editor of the Bernard Herrmann Edition. The disc also includes Stephen Hogger's extended suite based on Herrmann's incidental music for Citizen Kane (1941).
- Hangover Square at the Internet Movie Database.
- Alexis Smith Gets Role of Nora in 'Human Bondage' -- Two New Films to Arrive Today Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 12 Aug 1944: 16.
- National Theatre: Platform Papers: Stephen Sondheim. June 1993. Last accessed: July 16, 2008.
- Variety. Staff film review, February 7, 1945. Accessed: August 6, 2013.
- Mank, Gregory William (1994). Hollywood Cauldron: Thirteen Horror Films from the Genre's Golden Age, p. 347. McFarland & Company, Inc.
- Hangover Square at the Internet Movie Database
- Hangover Square at AllMovie
- Hangover Square at the TCM Movie Database
- Hangover Square at the American Film Institute Catalog
- Hangover Square information site and DVD review at DVD beaver (includes images)
- Hangover Square film trailer on YouTube