6.9/10
1,076
26 user 8 critic

High Wall (1947)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 17 December 1947 (USA)
After a brain-damaged man confesses to murder and is committed, Dr. Ann Lorrison tries to prove his innocence.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Willard I. Whitcombe
...
Helen Kenet
...
Mr. Slocum
...
Dr. George Poward
...
Dr. Philip Dunlap
...
David Wallace (as John Ridgeley)
...
Dr. Stanley Griffin
...
Mrs. Kenet
...
Henry Cronner
...
Emory Garrison
...
Sidney X. Hackle
Ray Mayer ...
Tom Delaney
...
Richard Kenet (as Bobby Hyatt)
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Storyline

Steven Kenet, suffering from a recurring brain injury, appears to have strangled his wife. Having confessed, he's committed to an understaffed county asylum full of pathetic inmates. There, Dr. Ann Lorrison is initially skeptical about Kenet's story and reluctance to undergo treatment. But against her better judgement, she begins to doubt his guilt, and endangers her career on a dangerous quest through dark streets awash with rain. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

So tense! So taut! It closes in on you like a high wall!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 December 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Anklage - Mord  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,844,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,553,000, 31 December 1948

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,618,000, 31 December 1948
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film did poorly at the box office for MGM, resulting in a loss of $101,000 ($1M in 2017) according to studio records. See more »

Goofs

At around ten minutes, a group of doctors are looking at Kenet's skull x-rays. The x-rays are hung behind the illuminated frosted glass panels - so that we can see the x-rays, but the doctors could not. And the x-ray as we see it is oriented correctly to show a left side hematoma, but to the doctors, the x-ray is reversed meaning the hematoma would be on the right. See more »

Soundtracks

Nocturne Op. 9, No. 2
(uncredited)
Music by Frédéric Chopin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A few terrific moments, but disappointing overall
21 May 2003 | by See all my reviews

Robert Taylor grapples valiantly with an offbeat role that may be too much for his limited range. He has some good scenes as a World War II vet who sustained head injuries and whose return to civilian life is plagued by headaches--and worse, incarceration in a county mental hospital after he is suspected of murdering his wife. Did he do it? No way, this guy was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross, loves his young son whom he hasn't seen for two years (while flying charter places in Burma to earn bucks for an ambitious wife), and really wants to take a research fellowship (for a measly $200 bucks a month. Besides, the movie tips its hand as to the murderer's true identity before Taylor even appears.

That first glimpse of Taylor is a stunner--he's at the wheel of a car speeding out of control, an apparently dead blonde female (his wife as it turns out) at his side, his face full of madness and anguish. Unfortunately, the movie gets bogged down in dated (and superficial) psychiatry and trite glimpses of life in a mental ward. The relationship between Taylor and his psychiatrist (Audrey Totter) strains credibility, though it does push the plot forward to a fairly exciting, if not believable, conclusion. Totter is a disappointment, drab and too serious--her performance needs more of the sharp, tart personality you get from many of her other roles.

Director Curtis Bernhardt gets in a few good film noir licks here. The rain during the extended climax is effective, and the scene where hospital staff visits Taylor's mother--only to find her dead--is extraordinary.

Do a few terrific moments make this a worthwhile 98 minutes? Maybe.


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