Movie Mini-Review: Hangover Square (1945)

cregar_hangover-burn

A very good, dark period drama featuring a great performance by Laird Cregar as a classical pianist who can’t explain his frequent black-outs and who begins to believe he may be responsible for a series of grisly murders in turn-of-the-century London. Some say this movie is a remake of The Lodger (also starring Cregar), but it’s really just a similar concept, not a direct remake. I think this version is even slightly better than The Lodger — it has the same exquisite photography and top-notch direction (both films were directed by John Brahm), but I like the characterization of the villain better this time around. The score is by Bernard Herrmann, who contributes immeasurably to the overall impact of the film, especially during the final 10-minute ‘concerto macabre’, where Cregar finishes his concerto while the building literally burns down around him. Love the ending. Also loved the bonfire sequence — pretty sinister fare. Look for Oscar-winner George Sanders (All About Eve) as a Scotland Yard doctor.

Rating: 4/5 ★★★★☆ 

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About Scott_S

Scott studied film and sociology at Indiana University and is currently the video producer for a large publishing company. He is the director of several independent films, including "House of Hope," "Off the Beaten Path," "The Day Joe Left," and "Found." For more about Scott, visit www.scottschirmer.com. Scott is also one of the principal organizers of the Dark Carnival Film Festival. (www.darkcarnivalfilmfest.com)

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