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Conflict (1945)

Passed | | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery | 30 June 1945 (USA)
An engineer trapped in an unhappy marriage murders his wife in the hope of marrying her younger sister.

Director:

Curtis Bernhardt

Writers:

Arthur T. Horman (screenplay), Dwight Taylor (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Humphrey Bogart ... Richard Mason
Alexis Smith ... Evelyn Turner
Sydney Greenstreet ... Dr. Mark Hamilton
Rose Hobart ... Kathryn Mason
Charles Drake ... Prof. Norman Holsworth
Grant Mitchell ... Dr. Grant
Patrick O'Moore ... Det. Lt. Egan (as Pat O'Moore)
Ann Shoemaker ... Nora Grant
Edwin Stanley Edwin Stanley ... Phillips (as Ed Stanley)
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Storyline

Richard Mason is slightly hurt in a car accident but pretends that his injuries are worse so that he cannot accompany his wife, Kathryn on a trip to the mountains. He does, however, kill her on a lonely mountain road. Or did he? He smells her perfume, finds her jewelry, sees an envelope addressed in her handwriting. He goes back to the scene of the crime to find ... what? Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

SUSPENSE...SUSPICION...MAN-WOMAN DESIRES! (original print ad - all caps)


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 June 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Pentacle See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

First of two films where Bogart plays a wife killer. The other is The Two Mrs. Carrolls (1947). Alexis Smith plays "the other woman" in both films. See more »

Goofs

Both the pawn ticket and the pawnbroker give the date of receipt of the locket as 7/9. But the log book shows the date as 8/22. See more »

Quotes

Richard Mason: What're you doing here? What've you got to do with all of this?
Dr. Mark Hamilton: I caught the one slip you made. The rose. You said Kathryn was wearing it the last time you saw her.
Richard Mason: She was! It was pinned to her coat.
Dr. Mark Hamilton: I gave her that rose when she stopped at my house. A rose you couldn't have seen when you were supposed to be helpless at home.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Tales from the Crypt: You, Murderer (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

How Sweet You Are
(uncredited)
Music by Arthur Schwartz
Played after Richard leaves the phone booth, talks to the operator and Dr. Hamilton, and out on the terrace
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Many call this an unusual Bogart film...
24 December 2009 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

...but it isn't really that unusual if you consider the films Bogart made after "High Sierra" and he began to get meatier film roles instead of the one-note gangster roles Warner Brothers often put him into from 1936 until 1941. Bogart was quite a versatile actor to put it mildly, and this film showcases yet another side of his talents.

Bogart plays Richard Mason, an engineer who is celebrating his fifth wedding anniversary with his wife Kathryn (Rose Hobart). However, Richard and Kathryn have been snapping at each other for the last few weeks. In a bit of a showdown before attending their anniversary party, Richard admits that he is in love with Kathryn's sister Evelyn, and Kathryn admits her short temper has been because she realizes this. Kathryn also states that she would never agree to a divorce. Realize that Evelyn (Alexis Smith) is innocent in all of this as Richard has been worshiping her from afar.

That night, on the way back from their anniversary party, Richard is gazing at Evelyn through the rear view mirror and has an automobile accident as a result of not paying attention to the road. Evelyn and Kathryn are unharmed, but Richard has broken his leg. Richard uses this injury, and the fact that no doctor can be sure at what point he'll regain the use of his leg, to come up with a rather clever scheme for killing his wife. After recovering his mobility, he continues to behave as though incapacitated. With everyone believing him immobilized by his injury, he intercepts his wife's car on a remote mountain road, blocking the road with his own car. He kills his wife and then sends the car off a cliff with Kathryn inside. A large group of logs go off the cliff with the car making a kind of eery formation on top of it and obscuring the wreck. The car does not catch fire.

Now all Richard has to do is go back to town undetected, still playing the cripple, and now playing the worried husband as well when his wife does not reach her destination. With Evelyn at his side to provide moral support, his plan is to wait for the alerted state police to find his wife's car and thus her body. Then he'll be free to court Evelyn. However, there is one snag - the police never find Kathryn's body or her car. On top of that, Kathryn's things that were with her when she died are showing up one by one - in Richard's desk, in his bedroom, in his luggage when he goes on a trip. The scent of Kathryn's perfume fills their room one night. He even sees someone who is dressed just like his wife on the street one day and follows her - she disappears into thin air. Whatever is going on here? Was Kathryn unharmed in this second accident as well? Is she playing with him? Unlike most mysteries, this one is not something that needs to be explained to the audience at the end, although it is. If you watch the film closely enough you'll figure out exactly what happened before it starts happening - but you have to pay attention. Highly recommended.


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