House by the River (1950)

Approved   |    |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir


House by the River (1950) Poster

A deranged writer murders a maid after she resists his advances. The writer engages his brother's help in hiding the body, and then watches as the brother becomes the prime suspect.

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7.2/10
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  • House by the River (1950)
  • House by the River (1950)
  • House by the River (1950)
  • House by the River (1950)
  • House by the River (1950)

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User Reviews


11 November 2007 | Spondonman
8
| "(Death On) The River"
House By The River was a simple tale masterfully brought to the screen by Fritz Lang in his best conventional yet classy style. It was shot on a shoestring budget for Republic but a brooding atmosphere was captured beautifully by intelligent production and marvellous period sets on sharp nitrate film stock. Even the studio shot scenes of the garden with long shots of the bricky houses are fascinating to sink into.

Louis Haywood plays a budding writer with pretensions to Art and dubious morals who accidentally murders his lowly servant girl and drags his weaker brother into the mess to help him out. The story is simply played out to the bitter end, and although I wish the police angle could have been given more prominence it's completely logical. The part the River plays isn't as large as the House, but it's a darkly inspired mix; I've always wondered what colour the wallpaper was. Haywood often played ambivalent characters, however there's no ambivalence here in his portrayal of Stephen Byrne – he's an evil swine all right. When it's all done you should be left with admiration for a director who could make a little go such a long way, with the help of a great team and cast of course!

It deserves more attention than it gets – maybe the simple descriptive title didn't help it win immortality, otoh a more eye-catching "Strangled In The Dark" wouldn't have been as good either! This is one of those little films to treasure and something to revel in at the cinema or late at night on TV with the lights off for maximum effect.

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