- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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SCARED THE BEJABBERS OUT OF ME!!!
I saw this movie three-quarters of a century ago when it first came out in the summer of 1945 at a neighborhood movie house on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C. at Rock Creek Park just before World War Two ended. It got rather poor reviews at the time and ever afterward, but I never figured out why. I was 12 years old at the time, and it scared the bejabbers out of me. I never could figure out how the critics could view it as as mediocre if it could frighten me that thoroughly. For decades afterward -- even as a grown man -- I always told people it was absolutely the scariest movie I ever saw. I was never able to forget the fear it engendered. Gave me nightmares. It bears some resemblance to the famous Ingrid Bergman 1944 movie, "Gaslight," that came out one year earlier -- old Victorian mansion, killer slipping into the mansion at night to search for something, strange lights.The opening scene in "The Unseen" where an old lady on a dark street is walking past a creepy old, boarded-up mansion that has supposedly been abandoned for decades and sees a mysterious light moving behind the dusty old windows really creeped me out. Curious, the old lady opens the squeaky, Victorian iron gate (I hope to God the killer doesn't hear the squeak!!!) and steps closer to get a better look. And when someone -- or some thing -- reaches out and grabs her in the dark and strangles her, I nearly jumped out of my theater seat. The father and his two children around whom the story revolves live next door to the old, abandoned mansion in a modern, brightly lighted house -- where they suddenly begin hearing strange noises coming from their cellar. Turns out the killer has built a tunnel from the modern house into the basement of the abandoned mansion. The climactic scene where the killer tells the governess if she stops playing the piano, he'll come back through the tunnel and kill her gave me nightmares for years. Very atmospheric cinematography.
My father took me to see this film when I was very young and, in truth, I don't remember any of the plot except I do remember that many references were made to "Sailor Malley". I never understood why this Irish seaman never appeared. Having read this site's synopsis of the film it would seem that I have been somewhat confused for many years!!
Holding my Breath
- Patricia Griffith
That's what I did as a 12 year old, when I saw this movie 3 times in one weekend. I have never forgotten it and have been looking for it on Video or DVD for the last 25 years.
- Jacqueline Wolf
I was on the set of this movie as the stand-in for Nona Griffith. I remembering being quite awstruck. Gail Russell was wonderful in this role and to see Joel McCrea in a genre other than a Western is a treat. This was almost the last of his non-cowboy roles
- Kim Teague
My Father has a memory of seeing this movie as a child. Many of the scenes are still in his mind. It left a great impression on him. He really thought it was a great movie.
- Guil Fisher
I remember first seeing this on the giant screen as a child and it scared me very much. Saw this recently and it's still a dark and moody film with Joel McCrea in the lead and a young Gail Russell fresh from her debut in THE UNINVITED, also a ghost story. Can't understand why it hasn't been released. A young nanny is hired to take care of two children who live in the house next door to a boarded up house where strange lights and footsteps are coming from. A bit like UNINVITED, SPIRAL STAIRCASE and TURNING OF THE SCREW. Herbert Marshall in supporting role.