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Monday, August 17, 2015

Caught (1949)

When a young model (Barbara Bel Geddes) is swept off her feet by a millionaire (Robert Ryan), she expects her marriage to be the fulfillment of all her girlish dreams. But she soon finds out that she's married to a psychotic and a sadist. Based on the novel WILD CALENDAR by Libbie Block (though apparently very little of the book found its way to the screen) and directed by Max Ophuls, it wasn't very well received in 1949 but the passage of time has shown that it's a darkly complex piece of cinema. Bel Geddes (in one of her few good film roles) may at first seem like an innocent but clearly she's partly complicit in the situation she finds herself in. As an actor, Ryan has such an intimidating presence that one truly fears for the poor girl. Even the film's conclusion won't let us off the hook. People smile and the music rises but is the death of a child really a happy ending? With James Mason, Natalie Schafer, Sonia Darrin (THE BIG SLEEP) and a nifty performance by Curt Bois as Ryan's lackey. 

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