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Betrayed (a.k.a. When Strangers Marry)

Posted by martinteller on June 26, 2011

A woman marries a man she barely knows, and has reason to believe he’s a killer.  This might be the closest thing in classic film noir to a David Lynch movie.  Everything about it is slightly off-kilter and over-the-top… no one acts quite normal, effects are exaggerated, things happen that have no connection to anything else.  It’s not exactly surreal, just weird and mysterious and… well, kinda Lynchian.  You could chalk some of this up to the cheapness of the film (the sparse sets often lend to the sense of otherworldliness), but who cares when the effect is so potent?  William Castle is someone whose work I’ve dismissed as silly before now, but perhaps I haven’t looked at it in the right light before.  Yes, there is a silliness to the script, but almost every scene brings something unusual or unexpected or just plain cool.  Maybe the often illogical turns of the script are “bad writing”, but it only made me love the movie more.  Plus you’ve got the adorable Kim Hunter (A Matter of Life and Death), a pre-stardom Robert Mitchum, and a good Tiomkin score.  I just loved this movie, in all its cheap glory.  Rating: 9


One Response to “Betrayed (a.k.a. When Strangers Marry)”

  1. […] 23. Betrayed/When Strangers Marry (1944, William Castle) […]

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