Storm Riordan (Sally Gray) is not to be confused with a certain naughty Stormy who turned tricks for a President with bouffant hair in her spare time. Or even be mistaken for that African American lady who causes pandemonium with her weather controlling superpowers when she’s in a bit of a mood. No, this Storm is a pretty normal lass, goes to work, likes the cinema and entertaining friends. She loves her cute little dog, Monty but unfortunately she has fallen out of love with her husband Dr. Clive Riordan (Robert Newton)
Truth be told she liked his fun manner when they first met and married. He would ask her to call him by the alias of Long John Silver. She giggled as he “arrrr” and joked “shiver me timbers” whilst walking around with a limp. She didn’t even mind the relentless singing of “Yo Oh Oh and a Bottle Of Rum”. Though she wasn’t over keen on his bizarre affection he shared with his stuffed parrot but she’d learned to let that go. No, it was when he became a local doctor that, dare she say, he’s became boring. No more fun pirate games, just now stories about people ailments. He’d changed. To be honest he was spending more time down the pub.
Then out of the blue, a charismatic American had arrived. Bill Kronin (Phil Brown) had excited her with wild stories of galaxies far far away. She loved stories. He’d tell yarns about when he lived as a farmer called Owen on a desert planet. How he felt compelled to guzzle back pints of blue milk and constantly tell off his nephew for blowing up Womp Rats down at Beggar’s Canyon. All these quirky strange tales had excited her. She laughed and smiled. She was happy again. Besides he also liked to dance and fool around. He was far removed from her serious doctor husband.
Tagline – Whose eye could see… Whose ear could hear… Whose mind could know… the Secret!
Well Dr. Clive wasn’t going to take any of this here nonsense, he wasn’t going to be made a fool of. He’d sat in the men’s club milling it over in his head. Obsessed. He had a gun and a perfect plan. This flirty Yank had messed with the wrong mans wife. Besides he had access to plenty of clever ways to get rid of him and quite honestly he may have the perfect murder. But don’t worry, he will stay a perfect gentlemen to the bitter end.
Now what could Dr Clive have planned for this American? Well all I tell you is he has a stash of many hot water bottles and carries around two flasks of coffee and a cooked chicken! He’s up to something that is so dastardly that it’s unbelievable to see on a film from 1949! To be honest it’s a shocker. To add to this sinister notion is his fact that he does it in such a British polite manner. Like Queensbury rules of murder. With the arrival of a mild-mannered detective from Scotland Yard, Supt. Finsbury (Naunton Wayne) can he and Storm work out what is going on?
Tagline – Hidden LOVE! Hidden HATE! Hidden FEAR!
- The film is directed by Edward Dmytryk who smashed high on the wolf meter before with The Sniper and Crossfire to name a few. Edward had left Hollywood during the Red Scare of fear mongering of communist infiltration in the film industry, which resulted with many being blacklisted. Edward came to England in 1948 and was granted a permit to work.
- Obsession was released in America under the title The Hidden Room. It is an adaption of a book called A Man About A Dog by Alec Coppel who also wrote the screenplay.
- As you probably guessed with the nonsense I wrote above that yes Phil Brown would go on to play Luke Skywalker’s, Uncle Owen and that Robert Newton played the swashbuckling Long John Silver in Treasure Island.
- If you fancy giving Obsession a go it is available at time of writing on Youtube to stream here.
This film is another prime example of the joys of having this movie blog as a wonderful hobby. The joy at the random discovery of films that have the ability to grab your attention and shock is a constant wonder to me. This film maybe a little slow paced for some but the banter, premise and undercurrent danger that this shows is what I so love about movies. I’m sure you’ve already worked out this will score high on my monthly watch ratings. Have you seen this one? Let me know if you have or feel free to pop back and let me know if you see later.
Keep digging for those hidden gems and thanks for having a read. All the best….. Mikey Wolfensteiner.
8 thoughts on “Obsession (1949) British Politeness, A Hot Water Bottle & A Perfect Murder”
Great film.Very underrated. Robert Newton is excellent in this. I think a lot of people just associate him with Long John at the expense of all his other work. I also love him as Bill in Oliver Twist(1948). Love the review, Mikey.
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Oh of course he was Bill Sykes in Oliver Twist. Totally forgot, yes he was great in that. Excellent to hear you’ve seen Obsession too, gotta be the first time acid bath been used I would well imagine? He was so blooming calm about it too! Thanks Maddy
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[…] The Hidden Room (1949) – Wolfman Rating 10 – IMDB Rating 7.4 Known also as Obsession. This is a highly original and very British tale of a perfect murder. Keep thinking back to this one. It hit big on my wolf meter. Here’s a post I did on it at Wolfie Write Up Here […]
[…] beautiful lady in the equally brilliant British thrillers, Green For Danger with Alastair Sim and Obsession with Robert Newton. Sally Gray is awesome in all three of these films. Please feel free to […]
[…] Silver and Blackbeard. Though I’d highly recommend you check him out in the superbly dark Obsession (1949) which I featured on my blog. The other guy I knew was Jimmy Hanley who I’d first seen […]
[…] Murderer would make a fantastic double bill with equally brilliant dark and twisted Obsession […]
Need a Blu-ray of this fantastic film! Existing DVDs need sharper image! Attention Criterion, BFI or Studiocanal ?
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Ooooo yes you are so right. I’d love to sit and watch it again in high-def. Such a brilliant little film. I’m sure they are are reading, fingers crossed hehe