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Monday, December 18, 2017

A Cry In The Night (1956)

A policeman's daughter (Natalie Wood) is abducted by a mother obsessed psychotic (Raymond Burr) while out on a date with her boyfriend (Richard Anderson). Based on the novel ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT by Whit Masterson (TOUCH OF EVIL) and directed by Frank Tuttle (THIS GUN FOR HIRE). The film makes several major changes from the book. For example, Wood's kidnap victim is unconscious for most of the book and Burr's psychopath isn't a mama's boy in the novel. Edmond O'Brien as Wood's father overacts shamefully and comes across as psychotic as the kidnapper. The film is an economical quickie produced by Alan Ladd's (who does the opening narration) production company. At a brief running time of one hour and 15 minutes, the movie feels at times like an extended episode of a 1950s TV cop show. Burr plays the child-like psycho like Lennie from OF MICE AND MEN and he's not very good. A year later, he would become TV's Perry Mason and put movie villainy behind him. Wood doesn't have much to do except portray fear and hysteria which she does well. With Brian Donlevy, Irene Hervey, Anthony Caruso and Tina Carver. 

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