6.2/10
280
12 user 5 critic

The Unseen (1945)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery | August 1945 (Peru)
A secretive widower hires a governess for his children, a willful boy and impressionable girl. Strange occurrences and the governess's curiosity lead her to unlock the secrets of the mysterious and uninhabited brownstone next door.

Director:

Lewis Allen

Writers:

Ethel Lina White (novel), Hagar Wilde (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joel McCrea ... David Fielding
Gail Russell ... Elizabeth Howard
Herbert Marshall ... Dr. Charles Evans
Phyllis Brooks ... Maxine
Isobel Elsom ... Marian Tygarth
Norman Lloyd ... Jasper Goodwin
Mikhail Rasumny ... Chester
Elisabeth Risdon ... Mrs. Norris
Tom Tully ... Sullivan
Nona Griffith Nona Griffith ... Ellen Fielding
Richard Lyon ... Barnaby Fielding
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Storyline

Governess Elizabeth Howard fears that David, both her widowed employer and the man she loves, could be the strangler that's stalking women in the small New England town where they live. So does the police. His little son Barnaby knows who the killer is but won't tell. Elizabeth becomes convinced that the killer is now stalking her as well.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Menace More Deadly Than "The Uninvited"! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

August 1945 (Peru) See more »

Also Known As:

Fear See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The Ethel Lina White novel on which this film was based, "Her Heart in Her Throat," was first published by Harpers in 1942. See more »

Connections

References Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

Beautiful Dreamer
(uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
Arranged by Ernst Toch
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Salem Alley Shenanigans.
23 October 2017 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

The Unseen is directed by Lewis Allen and collectively written by Hagar Wilde, Ken Englund and Raymond Chandler. It's adapted from Ethel Lina White's novel "Her Heart in Her Throat". It stars Joel McCrea, Gail Russell, Herbert Marshall, Phyllis Brooks and Isobel Elsom. Music is by Ernst Toch and cinematography by John F. Seitz.

Elizabeth Howard (Russell) is hired as a governess for David Fielding's (McCrea) two children. With David being secretive and strange occurrences happening, she begins to unravel the mystery of the empty house next door.

Foolishly seen as a follow up to the far superior The Uninvited (1944), The Unseen is efficient without really rising to thrilling heights. Taken as a mood piece it scores favourably, lots of shadows, cobbled streets, darkened rooms and plenty of suspicious goings on, but as a mystery it falls flat. It gets off to a mixed start, with a grisly murder bogged down by a clumsy narration, from there we are on board with Russell's governess who gets more than she bargained for in her new employment. A number of characters drift in and out of proceedings, but the villain of the piece is evident from the get go, and it builds to a disappointingly flat finale.

A sort of weak companion piece to Gaslight (original and remake) and The Innocents, it's not recommended with any great confidence. Those looking for better and similar tonal fare from Lewis Allen are advised to seek out the aforementioned The Uninvited and So Evil My Love (1948). 5/10


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