Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dangerous Intruder (1945)

Jenny Jackson (Veda Ann Borg) awakes to danger.

Dangerous Intruder is PRC's attempt at a murder-mystery about a strange family à la Guest in the House (1944). Struggling ingenue Jenny Jackson is hitchhiking back to New York from Boston when she is struck by a reckless driver. She wakes up in the the stately home of one Maxwell Ducane. Suspicious movements at night, a bedridden matriarch with a generous will, and Max's ranting about his clay pottery ("Earth and fire, the elements harnessed for use and for beauty! For irreparable and perpetual proof that man is master!") all adds up to trouble.

Mystery be damned! Charles Arnt plays Max
with the subtlety of a sledgehammer.

Filmed a month prior to Detour, Dangerous Intruder shares a screenwriter (Martin Goldsmith) with that PRC masterpiece but, unfortunately, little else. Despite a few quirky moments, such as the scene where Max is struck in the head with a golf ball and starts babbling sinister confessions, the film never generates much interest. The following dialogue sums up the aimless direction of the movie:

Maxwell: "Your coming here, if I were a superstitious man, would seem like a sign...something in the nature of an omen."
Jenny: "Yes, but what of?"
Maxwell: "I haven't the faintest idea."

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