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Friday, June 22, 2012

The Unguarded Moment (1956)

A high school teacher (Esther Williams) has been receiving anonymous sexually suggestive notes from a student. After a bungled rape attempt by the student (John Saxon), she reports it to the school authorities but she finds that no one believes her and she becomes the victim when it is suggested that she was the one who came onto him. Rape as a subject was seldom used in movies prior and during the 1950s. This somewhat awkward attempt (based on a story co-written by actress Rosalind Russell) is an intriguing effort that avoids sensationalism for the most part and treats its subject seriously yet it plays out more like a "damsel in distress" thriller than a genuine examination on the subject. Its psychology is rather simplistic by contemporary standards. Williams in a rare dramatic role is quietly effective, giving lie to the perceived notion that she couldn't act out of water. Directed by Harry Keller. With George Nader, Edward Andrews, Jack Albertson, Les Tremayne, Eleanor Audley, Edward Platt, Dani Crayne and Diane Jergens.

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