The Red House (1947)

The Red House (1947)
Running Time: 100 Minutes
Dir. Delmer Daves
Cast: Edward G. Robinson, Lon McCallister, Judith Anderson
Genre: Drama, Film Noir, Mystery

Screening Time: Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.

Storyline
A farmer (Robinson) holds a terrifying secret concerning a sinister house in the woods. Fine suspense, plus a good cast.

4 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    January 10, 2017 at 9:19 am

    First, I saw this as a child and recall being absolutely mesmerized and terrified by the creepy music associated with the house. Upon seeing it again some months back, I was immediately brought back to childhood and felt the same strangled dread. Sometimes memories of things from youth don't hold up but in this case, RED HOUSE remains a bizarre and scary movie into adulthood.

    Robinson's performance is very atypical but effective. He was a far more versatile actor than most people realize. As definitive as his fatcat gangster kingpin roles were in LITTLE CAESAR, KEY LARGO and the like, he was equally believable as victims and suckers, as in movies like SCARLET STREET.

    It is surprising that the studio was able to slip some very sexual material by the censors into this movie; Robinson is a deeply troubled and surprisingly sympathetic "deviant" here and things are handled with relative frankness.

    This isn't a perfect movie (some motivational problems in particular) and i didn't plan to comment on it, but i strongly disagree with the comments of another reviewer who dismissed Robinson so I wanted to briefly opine with my dissenting opinion. One final note: besides the highly chilling music, this movie features a very haunting ending that will stay with you. This is pretty twisted stuff given the era, and despite some datedness, it's certainly worth a look for those who like their noir Gothic and haunted.

  2. Anonymous

    January 10, 2017 at 9:19 am

    I first heard of this film when Scorcesse mentioned it on his documentary, "A Journey Through American Cinema"…always wanting to see something new, I found a copy of it at work and took it home….WOW!!! This is one of the greatest low budget thriller/melodramas I have ever seen…definately up there with Jacque Tourner’s "Cat People" and Edgar Ulmer’s "Detour"…Daves conjures up a moltov cocktail of sexual frustration, psychological S&M, and pubescent curiosity that seems primed to explode at any minute, and the volatility of it all is what keeps you in suspense. Even if you do figure out the secret of the red house half way through (I did), the performances of everybody involved (especially Edward G Robinson) keeps your eyes glued to the screen from beginning all the way to the bitter and somewhat ironic end….if you ever run across it, please check it out….sadly, the prints that are available are a bit scratchy at best (which is what happens when a film is forgotten), but the film is an experience everybody should see for themselves…..

  3. Anonymous

    January 10, 2017 at 9:19 am

    This film-noir may look like a B-film, but it contains two powerful pieces of work, that of actor Edward G. Robinson and composer Miklos Rozsa.

    A strange tale, "The Red House" benefits from one of Robinson’s most flavorful performances, as a man harboring a dark secret past which returns to haunt him. Ably supporting Robinson is the strong Judith Anderson as the sister, the fine Lon McCallister as a callow but earnest youth, and the striking Rory Calhoun in one of his most impressive roles.

    Directed in a somewhat standard fashion by Delmer Davis, interest is maintained by uniformly strong performances, and an extensive, full orchestral score by Miklos Rozsa. As in countless other films, Rozsa, inspired by Ravel (and the generic Debussy) weaves a wall-to-wall tapestry of psychological tension, further raising this enactment above its ordinary production design.

    Devotees of Robinson can enjoy their favorite actor in his 53rd film, made at the peak of his powers. His unique film presence boasted a career of 99 films in 57 years, which was preceded by a 15-year stint on the New York stage. Robinson proved that one doesn’t have to be unusually handsome to be a star, nor be relegated to minor character parts. Indeed, Robinson played leads in countless classics, with nary a weak performance. Few actors can make that claim.

    The DVD transfer is not a restored print, and contains several stretches of poor audio and scratchy images. On a series called, "Hollywood Tough Guys," put out by Madacy Entertainment, one can still be grateful that "The Red House" is available, as respresentative of both Robinson’s and Rozsa’s unique contribution to film.

  4. Anonymous

    January 10, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Thrilling Film-Noir written and directed by Delmer Daves. A crippled farmer(Edward G. Robinson)living with his sister(Judith Anderson) and adopted daughter(Allene Roberts)is hard pressed to deal with a young man(Lon McCallister)that comes to help out with chores. The young man is a friend of the daughter, but has romantic feelings for the school "hottie" Julie London. Robinson becomes deeper obsessed with keeping everyone away from a mysterious red house hidden in the woods that surround his property. Not only is London very young at this time in her career, but so is Rory Calhoun who hunts the woods and discourages trespassers. This is a passionate and atmospheric mystery that is supported by the haunting music of Miklos Rozsa. I especially enjoyed the scene of McCallister trying to go through the woods in the hard driving rain storm with the creepy music background. If you get the chance to see this on TCM, AMC or PBS…don’t pass it up.

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