The Dark Past
|The Dark Past|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Rudolph Maté|
|Produced by||Buddy Adler|
|Written by||Malvin Wald
|Screenplay by||Philip MacDonald
|Based on||Blind Alley
by James Warwick
Lee J. Cobb
|Music by||George Duning|
|Edited by||Viola Lawrence|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
The Dark Past is a 1948 psychological thriller film noir directed by Rudolph Maté, and starring William Holden, Nina Foch, and Lee J. Cobb. The film, released by Columbia Pictures, is a remake of Blind Alley (1939), also released by Columbia, and based on a play by American playwright James Warwick.
A psychoanalyst and his young family and some friends are taken hostage by a gang led by an escaped killer, Al Walker. The doctor gets the killer to talk to him in an attempt to find out the killer's unconscious motivation for his evil ways.
Walker relates a dramatic dream he's been having since childhood. Eventually, his crimes are traced back to his childhood and lack of parental guidance, and by the end of the night the doctor has calmed the killer's murderous rage and prevented any further killings.
- William Holden as Al Walker
- Nina Foch as Betty
- Lee J. Cobb as Dr. Andrew Collins
- Adele Jergens as Laura Stevens
- Stephen Dunne as Owen Talbot
- Lois Maxwell as Ruth Collins
- Berry Kroeger as Mike
- Steven Geray as Prof. Fred Linder
- Wilton Graff as Frank Stevens
- Kathryn Card as Nora
When the film was released the film critic at The New York Times gave the film a positive review writing, "William Holden is excellent as the dream-shackled gunman, who is at once ruthless, nervous and explosively dangerous but who grudgingly complies with the doctor's 'screwball' tactics. As counterpoint is Lee J. Cobb's equally fine portrait of the unflustered scientist who is dedicated to 'curing people not killing them.' And, Nina Foch does a competently restrained job as the gangster's moll, who learns he's suffering from an Oedipus complex. The doctor's house guests, including Steven Geray, Adele Jergens and Wilton Graff, and their captors, especially Berry Kroeger, give unobtrusive but neat characterizations. Neat, too, is the word for this small but well-made Christmas package."
More recently, film critic Dennis Schwartz gave the film a mixed review stating the film was well acted, but called the film, "... pure Hollywood hokum."