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Beware, My Lovely (1952) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • A psychopath on the run takes a job as a handyman at the house of a lonely war widow.

  • Helen Gordon hires Howard Wilton as a handyman to do chores around her house. She doesn't know what she's let herself in for. Insecure and paranoid, Wilton thinks everyone, including Helen, is against him. He suffers from memory lapses and extreme mood swings. She's soon a prisoner in her own house after Wilton locks the doors and tears out the telephone. His mood swings from violence to complacency but after Helen gets a message to the police via a telephone repairman, she finds he is still in the house.

  • 1918. As Christmas is approaching and as her sole boarder, Walter Armstrong, has just left for the holidays for a few weeks, war widow Helen Gordon, whose house is a gathering point for many of the neighborhood children, decides to hire the man who came by looking for work to help her clean up her house. He is Howard Wilton, just arrived in town and who has done such odd jobs for housewives before. He is diligent in his work and personable at first. However, unknown to Helen, he is set off by an incident with Helen's spoiled niece, Ruth. Howard begins to display erratic behavior and it soon becomes clear to Helen that he is mentally unstable, suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. During this increasing paranoia phase, he intimates to her that he sometimes has blackouts, during which he believes he has committed murder. Helen can see that those acts of murder probably were against those who turned against him and he seems to be searching for people to love him and not fear him. By this time Howard has locked Helen in the house keeping her captive against her will. Helen has to figure out a way to get help or get out of the house while keeping both herself and those that may come to the house, especially the neighborhood children, safe from Howard's potentially murderous hands.

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