Beware, My Lovely is based on a play, based on a short story that is written for the screen by Mel Dinelli. Dinelli was a writer on many film noir and thrillers through his career. It is directed by Harry Horner who also directed Vicki, a film noir I plan on watching and reviewing on this site at a later date.
Of course the attraction to this film is its two leads, both film noir legends. Ida Lupino not only starred in many film noir movies, she also wrote, directed and produced. Something not to common for a female in the 40’s and 50’s. Lupino is an under rated talent in the history of Hollywood and more people should know about her. Robert Ryan known to play an intimidating tough guy in film noir, war and western movies. In real life he had the make up of a hard man, at 6’4” and a World War II vet with boxing experience, you can see why he was perfect for a lot of the roles he played. Though these traits got him a lot of tough guy roles, he was a pacifist in real life.
This film opens with Ryan cleaning a house, when he opens a door and sees a dead women on the floor. He takes off on the run and ends up at Lupino’s house, hired as a handy man. Ryan’s character is a dangerous schizophrenic that imprisons Lupino in her own home.
This is a very claustrophobic film, with a cat and mouse element. Not sure if this is the first film of its kind but has to be an influence on future works like Misery, The Panic Room,and especially Funny Games. This had to influence in some ways many horror movies as well. This shot is one of the coolest shots I’ve ever seen:
This is slow-moving pot boiler that gets hotter and hotter as it goes. If you’re a fan of Lupino or Ryan you need to check it out. This is not a widely viewed film with less than 1,000 user votes on IMDb, and should be viewed more, especially by film noir, thriller and even horror fans.