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      Blind Alley

      1939 1h 11m Crime Drama List
      Reviews 36% Audience Score 50+ Ratings Convicted murderer Hal Wilson (Chester Morris) escapes from prison with the aid of his gang and breaks into the home of psychologist Dr. Shelby (Ralph Bellamy) to take refuge from the police. Shelby and his family are entertaining guests, all of whom become Wilson's hostages. After Wilson kills one of Shelby's young medical students, the doctor determines to save the others by analyzing Wilson, to make him understand the reasons behind the odd paralysis in one hand and his violent behavior. Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

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      Kimberly Pierce Ticklish Business The movie proves to be a fascinating viewing as it sits on the cusp of so much Hollywood history. There's some noir in there, but at the same time, the movie is very much of the 1930s (however) there's a definite sign of things to come. Rated: 3/5 Apr 13, 2022 Full Review John Kinloch California Eagle [A] neat, well-paced little melodrama. Nov 4, 2019 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Rated: B- Feb 27, 2013 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (7) audience reviews
      acsdoug D I can't say I've seen every movie from 1939, but Chester Morris must have won the "Worst Overactor" award for that year. Throw in a weak story and some dime store psychiatry and you've wasted 71 minutes of your life. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 04/08/24 Full Review Audience Member An early example of film noir before the genre really developed. It's got some of the visual hallmarks but is missing something. The expressionist element of film noir only appears in the dream and flashback sequence. There's a neat cut in the film that shows a candle burning down to indicate the passing of time. The plot is fairly silly; it doesn't make a lot of sense why the escaped gangster would hold up a house party to hide out rather than just wait for his getaway boat out of sight. The psychology element is a bunch of quackery, but luckily I find this kind of thing pretty fun. If you're not the kind of person that reads Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams for leisure like I am, this film may not have aged well. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/22/23 Full Review Audience Member good psychological drama with early elements of film noir from that magical year, 1939 Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review Audience Member Inte bara en av de första äkta noir-rullarna utan också det första fröet till terror/home invasion-genren. Dessutom en riktigt bra b-film! Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/26/23 Full Review Audience Member Hilariously simplistic and naive shoe-horning of then trendy psychoanalysis into the genre. But the dream sequence is surprisingly well done and it is good fun to see Boston Blackie cast against type. Ann Dvorak is fantastic as his tough-talking moll, and their constant use of the word, "see" as punctuation is hysterical. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/26/23 Full Review Audience Member Interesting premise: a gangster and his henchmen (and henchwoman) rob a family, and then hold the family hostage in their home while they wait for their getaway boat. Meanwhile, the head of the household, a psychiatrist, notices how troubled the gangster is and tries to "cure" him. Film is a bit dated now and the field of psychology has changed a bit since the 1930s, but it's still interesting to watch Dr. Shelby get inside the head of the gangster and Ralph Bellamy is great in this role. This movie is not available on VHS or DVD so catch it on Turner Classic Movies when you can. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/18/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Blind Alley

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Convicted murderer Hal Wilson (Chester Morris) escapes from prison with the aid of his gang and breaks into the home of psychologist Dr. Shelby (Ralph Bellamy) to take refuge from the police. Shelby and his family are entertaining guests, all of whom become Wilson's hostages. After Wilson kills one of Shelby's young medical students, the doctor determines to save the others by analyzing Wilson, to make him understand the reasons behind the odd paralysis in one hand and his violent behavior.
      Director
      Charles Vidor
      Producer
      Fred Kohlmar
      Genre
      Crime, Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (DVD)
      Apr 13, 2011
      Runtime
      1h 11m