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 »
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 »
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 »
Anne Baxter warms up for her "Eve Harrington" role...
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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