Shockproof

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For Shockproof (mechanics), see Shock (mechanics).
Shockproof
Shockproof Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Douglas Sirk
Produced by Helen Deutsch
S. Sylvan Simon
Screenplay by Samuel Fuller
Helen Deutsch
Starring Cornel Wilde
Patricia Knight
Music by George Duning
Cinematography Charles Lawton, Jr.
Edited by Gene Havlick
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • January 25, 1949 (1949-01-25) (United States)
Running time 79 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Shockproof is a 1949 film noir directed by Douglas Sirk, and starring Cornel Wilde and Patricia Knight.[1] Wilde and Knight were husband and wife during principal photography. They divorced in 1951.

Plot[edit]

Wilde plays Griff Marat, a parole officer who falls in love with a parolee, Jenny Marsh (Knight). Marsh had gone to prison in order to protect a gambler with whom she was having an affair. Out of concern for her welfare, Marat hires Marsh as a caretaker for his blind mother (Esther Minciotti).

Cast[edit]

Background[edit]

The director of Shockproof, Douglas Sirk, said he took the assignment because the movie dealt with one of his favorite themes: the price of flouting taboos.

In Samuel Fuller's original script, the film ended with a violent rebellion by Marat against the system that kept him and Marsh apart. The studio had National Velvet scriptwriter Helen Deutsch step in to pen a soft-suds rewrite.

Reception[edit]

Box-office[edit]

The movie had a disappointing box office in its original run.

Critical response[edit]

The New York Times film critic, Matt Zoller Seitz, discussed the significance of the film during a recent exhibition in New York, "But while Shockproof will inspire more groans than gasps, it's essential viewing for fans of Mr. Fuller and Mr. Sirk — and that's why the Two Boots Pioneer Theater and an online film discussion group teamed up to give this critically and financially unsuccessful movie its first New York run. The lurid setup and obsessive-loner-versus-the-system mechanics are pure Samuel Fuller. Mr. Sirk's personality is expressed in the film's affection for its screwed-up characters, in the poetic deployment of mirrors, windows and stairways, and in the low-angled wide shots of Griff's house, a space that seems both nurturing and oppressive."[2]

Film critic Dennis Schwartz gave the film a mixed review writing, "A hamstrung potboiler helmed by the great Douglas Sirk (Battle Hymn/Interlude/Take Me to Town) before he was great and written by Samuel Fuller before he embarked on his legendary directing career. You would think this awesome combo would transfer to a great film, but not so fast. Their styles cross swords, with too much pulp from Fuller and too much melodrama from Sirk. But what finally sunk it was the studio interference of a forced happy ending (the Columbia enforced rewrite by Helen Deutsch), leaving this one with too many pat coincidences and lacking in credibility (no fault of either Fuller or Sirk, who wanted their hero to go against the unjust system)."[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shockproof at the American Film Institute Catalog.
  2. ^ Zoller Seitz, Matt. The New York Times, film review, "A Maleficent Obsession? Could Be More Than Heaven Allows", January 24, 2007. Accessed: July 12, 2013.
  3. ^ Schwartz, Dennis. Ozus' World Movie Reviews, film review, March 9, 2007. Accessed: July 12. 2013.

External links[edit]