23 February 2017 | MartinHafer
Is it erotomania or is he a total cad?
Erotomania is the psychological term used to describe someone who is delusional and has convinced themselves that another person loves them...a person who they possibly never even met. It often happens with crazed fans in love with a famous person but the fixation could occur on a normal, everyday person as well. Erotomaniacs are not obviously insane, but this delusion is difficult, and sometimes impossible, to rid the person of despite therapy. I mention this because through much of "Finger of Guilt" you aren't sure whether this has occurred to Reggie Wilson (Richard Basehart) or whether he's a total cad and simply is lying to hide an affair.
When the film begins, Reggie has moved to the UK following some sort of scandal he was involved in with some married woman. Now he's married to the boss of a British studio and has a very important job producing movies. However, he begins receiving letters from a lady in Newcastle asking him why he is ignoring her and demanding he contact her. But he insists he has no idea who the woman is and even tells his father-in-law about this situation. And then, the women begins calling the studio...demanding to talk with him. By this point, Reggie's wife has heard about all this and it's obvious that she's beginning to suspect her hubby is a lying troll. So, Reg takes the wife up to Newcastle to confront the lady...and the lady INSISTS she and Reggie have been lovers, though she can provide no concrete proof. Who are you to believe? So is this any good? And is it really a case of erotomania? See the film and learn for yourself.
The fact that Richard Basehart is in a British film isn't too surprising. Basehart was a very minor star in the States and made movies in Europe (including a film for Fellini) for several years. This is because European studios thought that by putting an American or two in the leads, it would increase the marketability of the films internationally.
All in all, a pretty good film. I didn't love the ending...and part of it is because it wasn't 100% convincing. Still, an interesting and unusual story.
By the way, this film does make you wonder how many people and marriages have been destroyed by erotomaniacs. While this is relatively common with celebrities and accepted as a normal part of fame, what about common folk who suddenly have women or men insisting they love them? For an amazingly good film about this, try to see the French film "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not"....it's among the very best French movies of the last several decades!