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High Wall (1947) - Plot Summary Poster

(1947)

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Summaries

  • After a brain-damaged man confesses to murder and is committed, Dr. Ann Lorrison tries to prove his innocence.

  • 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.

  • Upon the strangulation death of Helen Kenet, outwardly it looks to be a simple case to prosecute her husband, Steve Kenet, for her murder, the two who married following a whirlwind wartime romance. Steve, a fighter pilot during the war, had just returned after being away for two years on a flying job overseas in Burma. Following the war, he took that job rather than the alternative of a local underpaid academic job. While Steve was away, Helen, bored at home while Steve's mother looked after their now six year old son Richard Kenet, got a job as secretary to Willard Whitcombe at Brattle Press, which publishes religious educational textbooks. Against the wishes of District Attorney David Wallace, Steve is sent to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation as he is seen to have previously had a head operation, it done during the war to deal with an injury. There, he is placed under the general psychiatric care of Dr. Ann Lorrison. Dr. Lorrison and her team discover that there are medical issues which have caused among other symptoms lapses in Steve's memory, he who does not remember the events surrounding his encounter with Helen upon his return. These medical issues can be treated through further operations which Steve long ago could have done but refused, leading to Wallace believing that Steve had all along wanted to use these as excuses in truly wanting to murder Helen and being able to claim temporary insanity in a court to get off scot-free. As Steve's treatment progresses, both he and Dr. Lorrison, without either stating it, believe he did kill Helen. Something twigs in his brain that perhaps he didn't, and thus he does whatever he can to discover the complete truth - mainly for Richard's sake - which will not be easy both seeing as to his incarceration and someone else not wanting him to discover the truth. As Ann begins to believe that Steve is innocent, she and he have the competing priorities of his overall mental and physical welfare versus justice in putting the right person behind bars at any cost.

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