The Red House

OF THIS MAN… AND THE GIRL WHO LIVED IN THE RED HOUSE… PEOPLE SPOKE ONLY IN WHISPERS!

A teenager (Allene Roberts) convinces her adoptive father, Pete Morgan (Edward G. Robinson), to hire one of her classmates (Lon McCallister) to help with chores on the farm, but Pete seems obsessed with the woods and a mysterious red house that he wants no one to go near… An exciting noir thriller that initially looks like it could go anywhere – what on earth is Robinson so afraid of? Psychology takes an increasingly important role as the dark past combined with mental illness haunt anyone who comes close to that red house. Well staged, with an intimidating forest and an effective score; the action-packed ending works like a behavioral exercise gone wrong. Robinson is good as the farmer with a wooden leg.

1947-U.S. 100 min. B/W. Produced by Sol Lesser. Written and directed by Delmer Daves. Novel: George Agnew Chamberlain. Music: Miklos Rozsa. Cast: Edward G. Robinson (Pete Morgan), Lon McCallister (Nath Storm), Allene Roberts (Meg), Judith Anderson, Rory Calhoun, Julie London.

Trivia: Alternative title: No Trespassing.

Last word: “The producer of that movie was Sol Lesser. He called and gave my mother and me an invitation to come to lunch at a studio, so we went, and Lon [McCallister] was there, too. While we were eating and talking and getting to know one another, he asked me, ‘Allene, I want to ask you a question. When you go to the beach, do boys whistle at you?’ I said, ‘No, sir, they don’t.’ He said, ‘You’ve got the part.’ (laugh) And that’s the truth, I was tellin’ the truth, because when I went to the beach, they never noticed me.” (Roberts, Films of the Golden Age)

 

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