Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Shock (1946)

I picked this movie tonight because I had limited time and it was short.  At least in terms of actual minutes (70), though it sure felt longer than that while I was watching it.

A young woman is waiting for her husband when she sees a man and a woman arguing in the next building.  The man is asking for a divorce, but his wife isn't co-operating.  Their argument grows more and more heated, until finally the man snatches up a silver candlestick and - off screen - kills his wife.

Because this is the sexism-friendly 40s and she's a woman, the witness promptly sinks into a catatonic state, from which her husband - when he arrives - is unable to waken her.  So he arranges for her to get care from the best psychiatrist in the city.

It's such a shame that the best psychiatrist in the city has anger issues, and a very recently deceased wife ...

As setups go, it's not a terrible one at all.  The film's problem is that having put the young woman in the clutches of the very man she saw commit murder ... nothing happens.  For a long, long time.  The whole momentum of the film just comes to an end for a good 45 minutes, before finally moving into the endgame with about 10 minutes still left in the run time.

Not a film I could recommend, even if it didn't have a creepy sense of apologism for the murderer of the piece.  The script seems us to want to think he's not such a bad guy, he just has a temper, and ... well I hopefully don't need to explain what's wrong with that!

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