7.2/10
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40 user 29 critic

House by the River (1950)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 25 March 1950 (USA)
A deranged writer murders a maid after she resists his advances. The writer engages his brother's help in hiding the body, and then watches as the brother becomes the prime suspect.

Director:

Fritz Lang

Writers:

Mel Dinelli (screenplay), A.P. Herbert (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Louis Hayward ... Stephen Byrne
Lee Bowman ... John Byrne
Jane Wyatt ... Marjorie Byrne
Dorothy Patrick ... Emily Gaunt
Ann Shoemaker ... Mrs. Ambrose
Jody Gilbert ... Flora Bantam
Peter Brocco ... Harry - Coroner
Howland Chamberlain ... District Attorney
Margaret Seddon Margaret Seddon ... Mrs. Whittaker - Party Guest
Sarah Padden ... Mrs. Beach
Kathleen Freeman ... Effie Ferguson - Party Guest
Will Wright ... Inspector Sarten
Leslie Kimmell Leslie Kimmell ... Mr. Gaunt
Effie Laird Effie Laird ... Mrs. Gaunt
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Storyline

The unsuccessful writer Stephen Byrne tries to force his servant Emily Gaunt sexually while his wife Marjorie Byrne is visiting a friend and accidentally strangles her. His crippled brother John Byrne coincidently comes to his house in that moment, and Stephen asks him to help to get rid of the corpse and avoid an scandal, since his wife would be pregnant. The naive and good John helps his brother to dump the body in the river nearby his house. Stephen uses the disappearance of Emily to blame her and promote his book. When the body is found by the police, all the evidences points to John, and he becomes the prime suspect of the murder. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Enticing blonde beauty lures a lover's straying eyes ... See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 March 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Floodtide See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Usually seen in bit parts, Jody Gilbert has a major supporting role as Flora Bantam the servant girl. See more »

Quotes

John Byrne: Stephen... I can't go through with this.
Stephen Byrne: You promised to stay up there.
John Byrne: Listen to me. The only thing to do is go to the police. Tell then exactly how it happened. It was an accident.
Stephen Byrne: But, they'll never believe me. Even you don't believe me!
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Sociopath and the River
29 March 2006 | by movingpicturegalSee all my reviews

Intense period thriller about a writer, Stephen Byrne (played by Louis Hayward), who lives in - yeah, you guessed it - a house by the river; with lovely yard and gazebo, yet oddly dark as the film opens with the sky clouded, shadows cast across scenery, haunting music, a dead animal floating by on the glistening water, and a black widow spider crawling over his writing. We meet the attractive, blonde servant girl, Emily, who Stephen clearly has a lustful eye on from the get-go. By the next scene, he tries to kiss her coming down the stairs after bathing in his tub, and, well, she screams and he "accidentally" strangles her. With his brother assisting him, they put her body in a big sack and sink her in the river, then follows the cover-up of the murder.

Well, this film is quite interesting, dark and suspenseful - there's a lot going on here. The print I saw looked strikingly full of sharp black and white contrast. The photography in this makes the film menacing with blackened rooms lit only by candle light casting dark, sharp shadows across the walls, some extreme camera angles up stairs and down halls, shots of faces seen only in mirrors, extreme close-ups, and sweat dripping on the face of a nervous murderer.


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