27 September 2017 | Spikeopath
There's trouble at mill.
Woman in Hiding is directed by Michael Gordon and adapted to screenplay by Oscar Saul and Roy Huggins from a story by James Webb. It stars Ida Lupino, Stephen McNally, Howard Duff and Peggy Dow. Music is by Milton Schwarzwald and cinematography by William H. Daniels.
After the mysterious death of her father, a quickfire marriage to a hugely suspicious man, and an attempt on her life, Deborah Chandler Clark (Lupino) is forced to assume a new identity and go into hiding...
No great shakes as regards the plot line, it's a standard woman in peril piece, where we the viewers know what's going on and only really await for what we hope is a punchy resolution to it all. However, overcoming the simplicity of formula, it's a film nicely constructed and performed, with plenty of suspense, tightly wound anticipation and some very pleasing visual accompaniments.
Opening with a guarded voice over from Lupino''s character, mood is nicely set at noir influenced. From here we quickly get to know the principle players and are quickly on Deborah's side. Peril and emotional pain is never far away with Gordon (The Web) and ace photographer Daniels (The Naked City) complicit in mood enhancements. Cue a cabin at nighttime bathed in oppressive moonlight, shadowed window bars striking facial menace - and as Deborah's peril grows greater - an imposing staircase ripe for a dastardly deed, Then we hit the last quarter of film and the quality really shines through. A steam train at night is grand, a splendid setting, but that is just a precursor to the exciting denouement at the deserted mill of Deborah's birthright. Daniels excels, his photography straight out of a noir fever dream, all while the industrial churning of the mill machinery adds impetus to the thrilling conclusion.
It needed more of a black heart as per outcome to be a definitive noir pic, but it comes safely recommended to noir enthusiasts regardless. 7/10