Young bride Anabel Shaw arrives at a San Francisco hotel to meet her husband, on his way back from a POW camp. His plane is late, and as she anxiously awaits him, she witnesses Vincent Price kill his wife in the next room over. She lapses into shock, and is found in this state when her husband arrives. The best psychiatrist around is summoned, and uh-oh, that turns out to be Price, who realizes why Shaw is in shock. He has her carted off to his private clinic, where he and lover Lynn Bari pl…t to keep her in shock permanently.
Poor Shaw is subjected to every form of paranoia imaginable, and suspenseful though that is, the real focus of the film is on Price. Desperate though he is to cover up his crime, he has real ethical qualms about how far he is willing to go to hurt an innocent. Bari, by contrast, is an utterly irredeemable femme fatale. A prime pair of villains, then, and lots of fun to spend time around.
So many of these older films with stereo remixes have problems with absolutely everything coming out of the rear speakers, whether those sounds belong there or not. This isn’t a big problem with the remix here. It’s a warm enough stereo with little by way of distracting flaws, but it is also rather hard to distinguish from the mono, so one wonders why they bothered. In any even, there is no hiss or static to speak of, so the result is generally quite satisfying.
The print is very close to mint condition. The black-and-white tones are wonderful, with excellent, dramatic contrasts and very deep blacks. There is no grain to speak of, and very little damage (only a little bit of speckling here and there). There is no visible edge enhancement, and the image is sharp. There are plenty of recent films that don’t look this good.
Writer John Stanley handles the commentary, giving it a much less academic tone than what one has come to expect with this series. He is very lively, and though is big interest is in Price, he doesn’t neglect the other performers in the film. Some liner notes and noir trailers are the only other extras.
A fine, tight thriller – a model of what can be done in 70 minutes.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary