Experiment Perilous (1944)

Spanish Memory Screen DVD edition

Text below written 2020-06-23


Fine drama thriller about a beautiful socialite woman at the turn of the 19th century (New York in 1903) the nervously overstrung Allida
(played by Hedy Lamarr) who worries about her elder husband killing her child, the 5 year old son.
Dr. Huntington Bailey (George Brent, forever immortalized as the killer in The Spiral Staircase) or Hunt is invited by a friend to come along
to a society gathering at the Bederaux mansion where Nicholas Bederaux, Nick (Paul Lukas) lives with his young wife Allida.
At first he has no plans to go there, but after looking at Allida's portrait in a Museum he changes his mind, enchanted by her beauty.

Brent and Hedy

He talks to Allida and finds her to be highly overstrung and agitated (and with the light spots directed to her eyes she looks almost mental.
As Hunt is a psychiatrist Nick consults him regarding the mental state of his wife. She believes that someone is following her and she buys
flowers to be anonymously sent to herself. She also is frightened by her much older husband. Is she crazy, is someone scheming against her?

Fine acting from Lukas and Brent and Lamarr is OK but plays another of her Beautiful Bimbo roles. I liked her better when she was free to act
in roles she wanted to act in, as in the films she co-produced. Hedy was a highly intelligent woman and surely wanted more interesting roles,
as The Strange Woman and Dishonored Lady (see further down my Film Noir page). She was a Genius actually and an inventor who came up
with the idea of frequency hopping today used in i.a. satellite technology.
The film takes place in New York 1903 and has quite atmospheric footage of winter slushy streets.
Aspect ratio 1.37:1 fullscreen original ratio, black & white, english audio and No Extras

 

Back