Woman in Hiding

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Woman in Hiding
1949 woman in hiding poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Michael Gordon
Produced by Michael Kraike
Screenplay by Oscar Saul
Adaptation:
Roy Huggins
Based on the SEP story "Fugitive from Terror" 
by James Webb
Starring Ida Lupino
Stephen McNally
Howard Duff
Music by Milton Schwarzwald
Cinematography William H. Daniels
Edited by Milton Carruth
Production
  company
Universal International Pictures
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s)
  • December 27, 1949 (1949-12-27)
Running time 92 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Woman in Hiding is a 1949 film noir directed by Michael Gordon and starring Ida Lupino as the title character, a wife on the run from her murderous husband, played by Stephen McNally. Howard Duff portrays a man who might help her. But can he be trusted? This was Peggy Dow's first film, though her second, Undertow (1949), was released first. [1] [2]

Plot[edit]

Deborah Chandler Clark watches police drag a North Carolina river for her body. She recounts the events that brought her to this, beginning when her father, a mill owner, disapproved of a romance between Deborah and the mill's general manager, Seldon Clark.

Her father falls to his death at the mill. Seldon consoles her and proposes. On their honeymoon, a jealous and angry woman named Patricia Monahan turns up and claims she's been romantically involved with Seldon, insisting he married Deborah simply to gain control of her mill.

Deborah demands an annulment of the marriage. While leaving, the brakes fail on her car. She leaps out just before it crashes into the river. Believing she would be unable to prove her husband's guilt, Deborah disappears, moving to Knoxville and going by the name Ann Carter.

An ex-soldier, Keith Ramsay, seems interested in Ann and follows her. What he's really interested in is a $5,000 reward offered by her husband. At a hotel hosting a crowded convention, Seldon nearly succeeds in killing his wife. Keith finally realizes that Deborah is in genuine danger.

Patricia can confirm her story, so Deborah tracks her down. Patricia betrays her, however, still being in love with Seldon. At the mill, he attempts to throw Deborah to her death the same way he murdered her father. In the darkness, he mistakenly kills Patricia instead, and dies himself after a fight with Keith.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

When released, critic Bosley Crowther gave the film a mostly positive review. He wrote, "Although it never pretends to be anything but melodrama, Woman in Hiding, unlike so many offerings in this genre, adds some convincing characterizations to its suspense. The combination of the two attributes succeeds in raising this new arrival at the Criterion a notch or two above the normal in this category emanating from the Coast. And, aside from a climax which is something less than inspired, Michael Gordon's direction of this story of a newlywed's desperate flight from her homicidal husband is paced toward mounting tension despite some implausible aspects here and there."[3]

Recently film critic Dennis Schwartz called the film a "Patchy melodrama." He wrote, "Patchy melodrama with too many contrived suspense escape scenes and too pat an ending to be anything better than a modest thriller, but Ida Lupino as the damsel-in-distress is terrific. Michael Gordon (Pillow Talk/Boys' Night Out/Cyrano de Bergerac) directs in a workmanlike and capable way."[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Briggs, Colin. "Peggy Dow: Bright Victory". Classic Images. 
  2. ^ Woman in Hiding at the American Film Institute Catalog.
  3. ^ Crowther, Bosley. The New York Times, film review, February 23, 1950. Accessed: July 23, 2013.
  4. ^ Schwartz, Dennis. Ozus' World Movie Reviews, film review, December 20, 2012. Accessed: July 23, 2013.

External links[edit]