6.2/10
639
37 user 10 critic

Guest in the House (1944)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir | 8 December 1944 (USA)
A young manipulative woman moves in with her fiancé's family and turns a happy household against itself.

Directors:

John Brahm, John Cromwell (uncredited) | 2 more credits »

Writers:

Ketti Frings (screenplay), Hagar Wilde (play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Anne Baxter ... Evelyn Heath
Ralph Bellamy ... Douglas Proctor
Aline MacMahon ... Aunt Martha
Ruth Warrick ... Ann Proctor
Scott McKay ... Dr. Dan Proctor
Marie McDonald ... Miriam
Jerome Cowan ... Mr. Hackett
Margaret Hamilton ... Hilda - the Maid
Percy Kilbride ... John - the Butler
Connie Laird Connie Laird ... Lee Proctor
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Storyline

A young manipulative woman moves in with her fiancé's family and turns a happy household against itself.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

EVELYN...pronounced E-V-I-L! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 December 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Satan in Skirts See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Lewis Milestone started the film, but after extensive rehearsals and preparation he fell ill and was replaced by John Brahm, who reshot some of the early scenes. See more »

Goofs

When Evelyn visits Douglas's studio (from about 31 minutes to about 34 minutes) the life-drawing on the easel is of a completely different pose from that of the model, both at the beginning and at the end of the scene. See more »

Alternate Versions

Some prints of the film are cut to 100 minutes, and omit, among other scenes, the prologue that turns the story into a flashback, in which Aline MacMahon stands at the edge of a cliff as if looking down at someone who has been killed, and reminisces in voice-over about the events in the story. See more »

Connections

Version of ITV Television Playhouse: Guest in the House (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Molly Malone
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by Marie McDonald
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Anne Baxter warms up for her "Eve Harrington" role...
24 March 2007 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

GUEST IN THE HOUSE is the sort of psychological Gothic melodrama Hollywood discovered in the early '40s, usually films based on equally melodramatic stage plays. (Think "The Two Mrs. Carrolls" or "Uncle Harry" or "Ladies in Retirement"). But it's a very stage-bound version of a talky Broadway play and ANNE BAXTER had not yet refined her acting technique, in the role of a psychotic who enjoyed manipulating the lives of everyone around her.

Her phobia to birds is rather effectively done, but it's hard to understand why the household members don't catch on to her deceitful ways a bit sooner. RALPH BELLAMY is in good form as the man she has designs on, for once a leading man and not "the other guy" and RUTH WARRICK is effective as his understanding wife.

The other performances range from incompetent to hammy--as essayed by MARGARET HAMILTON, PERCY KILBRIDE and MARIE ("The Body") McDONALD, a glamor girl out of her depth in a pivotal role.

Overall, it's a nice try at maintaining interest throughout two hours of running time, but somewhere along the way credibility is stretched to the max and Baxter's overwrought performance doesn't help.

The background score by Werner Janssen won an Oscar nomination, curiously enough.


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