15 July 2024
Beware, My Lovely (1952)
77 min.
Directed by Harry Horner.
With Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan, Taylor Holmes, O.Z. Whitehead, Barbara Whiting, James Willmas, Dee Pollack.
Good suspense vehicle. Widow Helen Gordon (Lupino) decides to clean out the boarding school she runs and hires wayward handyman Howard (Ryan) for some heavy lifting and moving support. But little does Helen know Howard is a bonafide psycho who's murdered in the past...and will again. Finding herself alone in the house with a manic nutcase, can Helen utilize her wits to survive? Well performed by both Lupino (usually a tough dame, but here nicely restrained) and Ryan as the schizophrenic menace.

Director Horner does a decent job emphasizing the 'trapping' of Helen with appropriate staginess (indeed this was based on the play The Man penned by Mel Dinelli who also wrote 1946's The Spiral Staircase).

Best scene: Helen believes she's finally got the maniac out of the house...and then sees his hulking figure reflected in a series of mirrored Christmas ornaments.

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