Beware, My Lovely (1952)

Approved   |    |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Beware, My Lovely (1952) Poster

A psychopath on the run takes a job as a handyman at the house of a lonely war widow.



  • Ida Lupino and Robert Ryan in Beware, My Lovely (1952)
  • Ida Lupino and Robert Ryan in Beware, My Lovely (1952)
  • Ida Lupino and Robert Ryan in Beware, My Lovely (1952)
  • Ida Lupino and Robert Ryan in Beware, My Lovely (1952)
  • Ida Lupino, Jimmy Mobley, and Dee Pollock in Beware, My Lovely (1952)
  • Beware, My Lovely (1952)

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10 November 2009 | bkoganbing
| Schizophrenia
Beware My Lovely originated from a play written by Mel Dinelli who apparently liked writing about frightened women. His first and best effort was the screenplay for The Spiral Staircase. He also did a Loretta Young suspense thriller Cause For Alarm a couple of years earlier. The play Dinelli wrote was originally entitled The Man and it ran for 92 performances on Broadway during the 1950 season. It was Dinelli's only effort on Broadway and it starred Dorothy Gish and Richard Boone.

The roles that Gish and Boone played are taken by Ida Lupino and Robert Ryan. For whatever reason RKO thought to eliminate the age difference. Dinelli himself rewrote his play for the screen so I'm wondering what he thought about that. Certainly the frailty issue was eliminated completely from the story.

That wasn't the only thing that was eliminated. The people are all wearing period clothing from around World War I yet there's no reference at all to the time this story takes place in. I thought that strange and later on when the telephone company repairman comes to Ida Lupino's residence, I noticed his truck was a vintage one of the same era.

The film is almost entirely set within Ida Lupino's home where she's hired an itinerant stranger in Robert Ryan as a handyman. The film is a great object lesson in not hiring strangers without reference. It turns out that Ryan is a schizophrenic who imprisons Lupino in her home for about a day.

Both the leads do fine jobs even with the changes made. Films like Beware My Lovely are the stuff that a small studio like RKO did best. If this were done at MGM or Paramount the glossy trappings would have overwhelmed a solid story.

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Release Date:

29 August 1952



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