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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Kind Lady (1951)

A con man (Maurice Evans) charms an elderly woman (Ethel Barrymore) into letting he and his wife (Betsy Blair) stay in her home while his wife recovers from her "illness". But an act of kindness turns into terror as the woman finds herself a prisoner in her own home. Based on the 1935 play by Edward Chodorov which was previously made into a film in 1935 and directed by John Sturges (BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK). The film makes several changes from the 1935 film and all for the better. The elderly woman isn't so gullible, she's got spunk and is more determined. Evans' con man isn't so obvious as Basil Rathbone was in the 1935 film so you can believe she might be taken in. The supporting conspirators played by Angela Lansbury, Keenan Wynn and Blair are also fleshed out and not so cardboard. Sturges manages to make it seem less contrived although the basic premise of a home invasion has been handled in better films like PANIC ROOM and THE DESPERATE HOURS. With John Williams, Moyna Macgill and Doris Lloyd who played the niece in the 1935 version.

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