Inner Sanctum (1948)

June 5, 2011

Starring Charles Russell, radio voice of Yours Truly Johnny Dollar, sultry Mary Beth Hughes, and Dale Belding this thriller directed by veteran Lew Landers tells a tale of  a psychic man on a train who warns a woman not to get off at the next train stop or she’ll be in danger. She ignores the advice and is promptly murdered by her fiancée after trying to kill him. A young boy sees the body being dumped back on the train and the film noir adventure begins. Not able to leave because of heavy rains causing a washed out bridge he seeks refuge in a boarding house not knowing that the young boy is living there. Included in the household is Jean (Hughes) who makes a play for Harold (Russell) with the goal of getting out of town herself. After befriending Mike (Belding) he learns that he knows too much and is going to tell the police what he knows. After trying to kill him he gives up waiting on the porch with Jean for the police to come. The ending is the woman leaving the train and the story unfolding. While it is an original screenplay by Jerome T. Gollard it has many similar ingredients to the Woolrich story “The Boy Cried Murder” just a different location. Distributed by M.R.S. Pictures it was their only films It is available for free viewing on the internet archive as it is in public domain http://www.archive.org/details/inner_sanctum    as well as from Alpha Video (ALP 4317D) at a very low cost if you want to own the DVD. The original soundtrack is by Leon Klatzkin and is quite ordinary but I’ve included an audio clip of the main title. This is definitely a neat one hour thriller and is not to be confused with the Universal Lon Chaney Jr.  Series. (***)

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