Tagline : Hidden love! Hidden hate! Hidden fear!

Runtime : 96 mins

Genre : Thriller Crime

Vote Rating : 6.9/10

Reviews for this movie are available below.

Plot : A British psychiatrist devises a devilish revenge plot against his wife's lover.

Cast Members

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Man's Best Friend. Obsession (AKA: The Hidden Room) is directed by Edward Dmytryk and adapted to screenplay by Alec Coppel from his own book and play. It stars Robert Newton, Phil Brown, Sally Gray and Naunton Wayne. Music is by Nino Rota and cinematography by C.M. Pennington-Richards. Finally having had enough of his wife's affair with a young lover, Dr. Clive Riordan (Newton) plots a devilish scheme of kidnap and murder... The motive that drives the plot of Obsession is simple in the extreme, this is out and out a revenge for infidelity, but the presentation by Dmytryk is superbly crafty in that Hitchcockian way. The doctor is a most elegant and calm man, he has the perfect murder in mind for his wife's lover (Brown) and he, being a purveyor of psychological smarts, is going to enjoy the luxury of methodically taunting his prey over a period of time. With the man ingeniously incarcerated down in a bombed out abode, and subjected to daily visits from the doctor, Dr. Clive is then seen going about his normal routines. Exchanging brandy sips with cultural chatter in the gentleman's club, swatting away the attentions of his increasingly fraught wife (Gray), and of course dealing with the close attentions of Scotland Yard; here in the form of Naunton Wayne's astute Superintendent Finsbury. The "good" doctor even has plenty of time to indulge in his love of model train set construction. The initial plot machinations are slowly paced by the recently blacklisted director, but it's a deliberate ploy since the whole complexion of the movie changes once the kidnap occurs and the police and the press become involved. The atmosphere becomes tense, and this even as captor and captive enjoy some straight backed - prim and proper - verbal exchanges. There's a meticulousness to the murder based thematics that strike a chord, the mention of Crippen and obvious nods to John George Haigh keep the film buzzing with real life serial killer atrocities. There's a case to be made here that this is Dmytryk's best British film? Certainly his ability to build suspense without histrionics or blood letting is a masterclass in Brit thriller staging. While his directing of Newton and Wayne, both of whom are excellent, is also worthy of a pat on the back. Visually it's straight black and white photography, except for the odd time we are out on the wet cobbled streets and the gaslights ooze the ethereal. But although there's some debate about if it deserves film noir status, I personally feel it's the sort of crime/thriller mounted with enough skill to make it worth seeking out by the film noir loving crowd. Some of the support turns are stiff, but mercifully not film harming, while you do have to accept that the locale of the crime is hardly water tight and most likely would have been found with ease. But minor itches be damned, this is cunning, crafty and a British chiller of some worth. 8/10

This is probably the best straight-part effort from Robert Newton I've ever seen. He is super as the doctor "Riorden" who has had just about enough of his wife's infidelities so decides to rid himself of her latest flame "Bill" (Phil Brown). After surprising the couple at their home, he somehow (and this is very much the weaker part of the film) manages to get the man chained to the wall of a bombed-out basement where he proceeds to hold him captive for weeks, whilst implementing a particularly grizzly, but untraceable, plan to kill and dispose of him. Wife "Storm" (Sally Gray) suspects that something has gone amiss, and when her beloved dog "Monty" disappears too, she involves the police. Enter the very unassuming character "Insp. Finsbury" (Naunton Wayne) who takes some advantage of "Riorden" and his cocksureness and... well... Might there still be some hope for the doomed prisoner? As I said, the start of the film is poorly constructed and requires us to let the remainder of the 95 minutes forgive that - but it ought to do that OK; the tension builds quite nicely. I can't say that I much cared for the ending, to be honest - but see what you think.

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