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Monday, August 22, 2016

Undercurrent (1946)

With spinsterhood soon approaching, a woman (Katharine Hepburn) is swept off her feet by a rich manufacturer (Robert Taylor). After a quick wedding, she's whisked off to Washington DC where her husband is part of the social set. But it isn't long before she sees the dark side underneath the charm and begins to suspect he may be mentally unstable. An unusual entry from director Vincente Minnelli, a director not known for thrillers. He does well enough, the flaws in the film come from the screenplay which seems cobbled together from bits and pieces of films like REBECCA and GASLIGHT. While Robert Taylor and Robert Mitchum are both successfully cast against type, Hepburn doesn't fare as well. Actresses like Joan Fontaine and Ingrid Bergman in their respective films had a fragility that made it seem like they would crack if enough pressure were applied. Hepburn seems to have an innate resourcefulness that we're never quite in fear for her life as she seems to be able to take care of herself, however tremulous she may act. After a sluggish exposition, it's entertaining but it's not the kind of film that resonates. There's a nice underscore by Herbert Stothart that helps push it along. With Edmund Gwenn, Marjorie Main, Jayne Meadows and Clinton Sundberg.

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