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EYES IN THE NIGHT was pretty good fun, thanks to Edward Arnold as a blind detective whom all the baddies underestimate; his Rin-Tin-Tin-ish guide dog named Friday (who makes Rinty seem almost like a wimp); Mantan Moreland, who says things in his patented way like "Dog, I'm gonna disconnect you!", and Donna Reed, who gets off arch zingers to her stepmother: "Your phony nobility makes me sick!" (interesting because it's Ann Harding this is addressed to, LOL) Then there's suave Reginald Denny, with the pipe and tweed jacket, whom I'm becoming more attracted to with every movie I see him in.

 

I wasn't crazy about the second half, which turned from mystery to cliched B-movie WWII propaganda "thriller". It was disconcerting to see creepy Katherine Emery, who is burned into my memory as the claustrophobic sickly wife in Val Lewton's ISLE OF THE DEAD, which is the only role I've known her in. A poster on the imdb board rightly describes her as looking and sounding like Mercedes McCambridge. There's a William Castle-ish doozy of a scene where Edward is trapped in a basement with a villian, and, after switching off the light, tells him, "You're in MY realm now, the dark!" Then the screen goes black for about a minute as a scuffle ensues.

 

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How do, Bronx Birdy? -- Ah, yes, I see -- the "dancing" scene. I must agree with

you there.

 

First Miss G agrees with me, and now you. This is getting ugly.

 

Of course, I never thought I'd hear the words "Ralph Bellamy" and "eroticism" in the

same breath.

 

Me, either! I was shocked to see such a scene. Heck, it's even between a married couple.

Very interesting.

 

For instance, I just don't understand Ralph's motivations/attraction towards Evelyn. Is

he father, lover, Pgymalion?

 

I thought Doug (Ralph Bellamy) cared about his younger brother and he wanted to help him

out in any way possible. Evelyn was the woman his brother was in love with, so he looked

to help make her better. He's thrilled to see Evelyn coming around. He never thought of

Evelyn in a romantic or sexual way. He's only thinking of his brother's happiness.

 

I'm also clueless over Ruth's "handling" of the situation.

 

I think Ann (Ruth Warrick) showed weakness in believing the worst of Doug. She should

know better by now. But I can see where any person could FEAR the worst. And once fear

takes root, it's tough to rid. Eventually she comes to know the truth, but Doug is now the

one who cannot see it. This makes it very tough for Ann. How can she make Doug see the

truth? She chose to leave with their daughter. That'll wake a guy up fast.

 

guestinthehouse23.jpg

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> {quote:title=FrankGrimes wrote:}{quote}

> How do, Bronx Birdy?

 

I'd never fly the Coop.

 

 

 

 

 

>

> Of course, I never thought I'd hear the words "Ralph Bellamy" and "eroticism" in the

> same breath.

>

> Me, either! I was shocked to see such a scene. Heck, it's even between a married couple.

> Very interesting.

 

I thought it was refreshing, and done in a wonderfully Expressionistic way.

>

> For instance, I just don't understand Ralph's motivations/attraction towards Evelyn. Is

> he father, lover, Pgymalion?

>

> I thought Doug (Ralph Bellamy) cared about his younger brother and he wanted to help him

> out in any way possible. Evelyn was the woman his brother was in love with, so he looked

> to help make her better. He's thrilled to see Evelyn coming around. He never thought of

> Evelyn in a romantic or sexual way. He's only thinking of his brother's happiness.

 

But there's always a crazed, intense gleam in Ralph's eyes when he looks at Evelyn. Is that just "artistic temperament" on his part, envisioning her as his muse, or something else I can't understand?

>

> I'm also clueless over Ruth's "handling" of the situation.

>

> I think Ann (Ruth Warrick) showed weakness in believing the worst of Doug. She should

> know better by now. But I can see where any person could FEAR the worst. And once fear

> takes root, it's tough to rid. Eventually she comes to know the truth, but Doug is now the

> one who cannot see it. This makes it very tough for Ann. How can she make Doug see the

> truth? She chose to leave with their daughter. That'll wake a guy up fast.

 

Yes, she should have known better,and trusted Miriam as well. Miriam respected her, and would never have betrayed her. But, as you say, fear is a very powerful emotion.

>

> guestinthehouse23.jpg

 

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But there's always a crazed, intense gleam in Ralph's eyes when he looks at Evelyn. Is

that just "artistic temperament" on his part, envisioning her as his muse, or something

else I can't understand?

 

I took it as his being inspired by Evelyn. He did like her look and face, wishing to "capture it

on canvas one day." I also think he received an ego boost with Evelyn. He liked seeing that

HE was helping her snap out of her funk. I think his friskiness with Ann after getting Evelyn

to go to sleep her first night in the house tells you a little something about Doug's ego. He

was feeling really good about himself, so he let loose with Ann. Guys who are feeling good

about themselves, well...

 

Yes, she should have known better,and trusted Miriam as well. Miriam respected her,

and would never have betrayed her. But, as you say, fear is a very powerful emotion.

 

I think Doug was the one to blame. A happily-married husband should always trust

the word of his wife. She's the one to believe, not the outsider.

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Evil-lyn saw that Miriam had feelings for Ralph, and used it - she knew Ann would see that grain of truth in the relationship and she just let nature take it's course. Habitual liars always see other's failings and faults, they even think that others are always lying to _them_. Because of their own duplicitous actions, they are attuned to any fudging or smudging of truth, anything slightly under the surface. They see everything as tainted with their own darkness. Evelyn knew Ann would see the feelings Miriam had, and wouldn't be able to get them out of her mind.

 

Funny that Ann would see Miriam as a threat at first, but not Evelyn. I think the whole family was playing on the up and up with Evelyn, and that is why she was so successful. They really saw her as a perpetual victim! Even when Ann told her to get out, she simply couldn't believe that Evelyn would be able to twist that around to her benefit. She was shocked at the strength Evelyn showed. Only Aunt Martha was able to see those weaknesses in Evelyn....she adopted the mind set of a pathological liar and stalker. That is what makes the ending so satisfying and horrifying at the same time.... Aunt Martha knew that she would have to play on those weaknesses (becoming all those things she abhorred), in order to vanquish Evelyn forever.

 

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Ciao, CineBabe -- Loved reading your thoughts and words on Guest in the House.

You really went to town, girl.

 

SPOILERS IN THE HOUSE

 

It's been a glitchy coupla days in TCM City. AND IT IS STILL

WACKY. But I?m hoping this goes through.

 

Heck, it's STILL glitchy. Why am I not surprised?

 

Thank heavens I saw Anne Baxter in "All About Eve" first before being introduced to her

in this film. If I hadn't, I might never watch an Anne Baxter movie again.

 

And I'm the other way! I've yet to watch All About Eve. The only Anne movies I saw

before Guest in the House are The Blue Gardenia, I Confess, and

The Razor's Edge. I first knew of her as "Olga, Queen of the Cossacks" on

Batman.

 

In "Guest In the House" she plays Evelyn, one of the most unsettling infuriatingly galling characters I have EVER seen in a movie. Yeech. She's creepy, insidious and deadly. And I despised her.

 

That sounds like Miss G. :P

 

This also could also be a lesson to show us the contrast between Wife vs. Model. (One

woman slightly reserved, the other woman free and with abandon). A flour-stained apron is

sometimes no match for a 2-piece bathing suit on a leggy blonde. (Pssst...wives, you

might remember that).

 

I'll take the flour-stained apron every day of the week.

 

Anne Baxter plays Evelyn Heath, recently discharged from a mental hospital. The way

she greets the family is a tad unsettling. Her affect is kind of off; all breathless and

actressy. Huh? Yo Evelyn, relax, sheesh.

 

Our introduction to Evelyn is excellent. She's a phony show. She's an actress. She's

always putting on a face. There is no real Evelyn.

 

It?s not too long after her warm welcome into this happy household that, one by one,

she picks off family members...even playing off one against the other. For me, Baxter's

most insidious turn is with the young girl (who I, at first, thought was Cat People's Ann

Carter). It was just no fair and really downright hateful for her to twist a young pliable

mind like she did. She put thoughts into the child's head that she hadn't the maturity to

process. Yeah, a perfect victim perhaps, but difficult to watch.

 

You are very right about that. Evelyn has no concern for anyone but herself. If she has to

go after a little girl to get what she wants, she won't hesitate to do it. And she doesn't.

 

Funny, when the two meet for the first time on the staircase, the child, taken with

Baxter's beauty, wants to touch her. Baxter recoils as though she were faced with a

hot poker. (Danger! Red Flag!)

 

You can't touch what's not real. It's almost like Evelyn was afraid Lee (Connie Laird) was

going to remove her mask. Of course, she was quick to think up an excuse. A living lie

must lie to live.

 

Men are so d-- gullible and easy when they love or there is a damsel in distress.

 

Guilty.

 

And in turn, Baxter dispatches him handily. It was wonderfully infuriating to watch her play

him like a violin. Her m.o. is this: she makes him jealous, gets mad at him becuz he's

jealous, then forgives him becuz his jealousy proves he loves her. (Huh?)

 

That was perfectly stated. Ahhh, women.

 

But coming home late together and being slightly tipsy heightens all sorts of suspicions

of impropriety. The model has to leave the gig and the house.

 

I wasn't a big fan of that scene. I'd rather they not have gone off and got drunk. That made it

too easy.

 

What really is the straw that breaks Warrick's (maternal) back is seeing her little girl

adopting Baxter's neurosis. A bit over the top plot-wise, but I was truly taken aback by

seeing the little girl sooo out of sorts. Jesus!

 

I agree, I thought it was a little too over the top.

 

The gloves are off now and Warrick, in no uncertain terms, calls her a monster. When

Bellamy comes home Baxter retreats to Victimhood, and Warrick & Bellamy turn on

each other. (Triumph is near). "She's not so weak she can't ruin our lives," says

Warrick. Bellamy misguidedly defends "Bambi." Warrick realizes she can't fight 'em

both and leaves the house.

 

You're right on it, Lively One. Doug really puts Ann in a spot when he chooses to believe

Evelyn and not her. Now she's in trouble.

 

It takes a crow bar to open Bellamy's eyes. But Baxter's gone over the top...overwrought,

manic, living in a fantasy, becoming unhinged. She does this very very convincing. It?s not

the type of character I like to watch in movies. Lethal ladies blasting, poisoning,

stabbing?fine. But I hate plots with blackmailers/kidnappers?torturers.

 

Ahhh, but you like "Kathie" (Out of the Past) and "Martha" (The Strange Love of

Martha Ivers). Those femmes fatales were conniving.

 

I did find it interesting that Evelyn chose to speak all of her REAL feelings to Doug and he

ended up recoiling. That always feels good.

 

And in the end as she stands in the doorway, arms on either side of the door jamb, her

shadow looks like Christ on the cross.

 

That's a wonderful observation.

 

I'm in the minorty here, but I didn't like the ending. I thought it was silly. How come the

birds outside now affect Evelyn? They didn't before. The only way I can square this is that

since she was rejected and the bird "escaped its cage," her anxieties were severely

heightened and this led to her demise.

 

I have to agree with you, Anne Baxter gave a wonderful performance. It was so

off-putting I couldn?t stand her and that is rare for me. Sneaking around corners, listening

through keyholes, hiding, skulking?just a lot of sneaky sh*t! Ugh!

 

I also liked Anne's performance. I liked her brand of evil.

 

I was happy to see Warrick smiling. She always looks so imperious and serious. When

they kissed and made up and she reminded him that their honeymoon was in Quebec not

Montreal, he ran up the stairs to their bedroom. Cute. See, you don?t have to show

?everything.?

 

Ruth's performance was wonderful. I loved her married playfulness.

 

Him gazing at a beautiful model for hours and hours on end. Whew, any man but Ralph Bellamy might?ve given her a second glance. Look, lets face it?why put temptation in

their path. They?re men.

 

:D What are you saying?

 

And all could have been taken care of if, right in front of Evelyn, she were

confronted. Liars and fakers can?t take Logic and Rationale. But then where?d your

movie be? Use it in real life. Confront the fakes. You really can spot ?em a mile away.

 

You can? Ohhh, look at the time. I must be going.

 

I thought McMahon was quite formidable. She made me think of Eleanor Roosevelt

protecting America from the Axis of Evil. You wrote about her quite well. It really was

a stroke of genius that ending and having the ol? spinster protect everyone. The

Spinster?unloved romantically, not desired sexually (?a frozen asset,? as noted in

?The Women?)?all her ?energies? put towards the family. Woe betide the person who

crosses her path.

 

That was awesome.

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I must remember in my writing NOT to re-hash a plot

 

NO!!! Say it aint so.... I LOVE the way you take a plot and interweave it with your thoughts and comments... THAT is what makes it so fun to read!!!! :-)

 

Carry On, young'un.

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Hola, Jacqueline -- Evil-lyn saw that Miriam had feelings for Ralph, and used it - she

knew Ann would see that grain of truth in the relationship and she just let nature take it's

course.

 

What kind of feelings do you believe Miriam (Marie McDonald) had for Doug?

 

Habitual liars always see other's failings and faults, they even think that others are

always lying to them. Because of their own duplicitous actions, they are attuned to

any fudging or smudging of truth, anything slightly under the surface.

 

Ooooh, that's excellent.

 

Evelyn knew Ann would see the feelings Miriam had, and wouldn't be able to get them

out of her mind.

 

I believe it was all the time Doug and Miriam spend together ALONE that really caused Ann's

mind to race. What do they do in that room or on the beach? And Miriam being a beautiful

young woman certainly adds to the paranoia.

 

What Evelyn is so very skillful at doing is taking an innocent, playful situation and making it

seem unsavory.

 

Miriam: Oh, he dresses everyone in this house. Except me. Me, he undresses.

 

guestinthehouse24.jpg

 

guestinthehouse25.jpg

 

guestinthehouse26.jpg

 

Did you notice that Evelyn is smiling at first, but when Miriam mentions being "undressed" by

Doug, her expression changes? She is very jealous of Miriam. She also has ammunition

against Miriam and the rest. She's going to take a playful moment and make it sinful. It's

all about twisting the words and feelings of others into something it's not.

 

Funny that Ann would see Miriam as a threat at first, but not Evelyn. I think the whole

family was playing on the up and up with Evelyn, and that is why she was so successful.

They really saw her as a perpetual victim! Even when Ann told her to get out, she simply

couldn't believe that Evelyn would be able to twist that around to her benefit. She was

shocked at the strength Evelyn showed.

 

That is a very good point. I definitely agree with you. The family is a very caring one and a

very trusting one, so they took Evelyn to be someone who was truly hurting. She, of course,

used the kindness and trustworthiness of the family against them.

 

Only Aunt Martha was able to see those weaknesses in Evelyn....she adopted the mind

set of a pathological liar and stalker. That is what makes the ending so satisfying and

horrifying at the same time.... Aunt Martha knew that she would have to play on those

weaknesses (becoming all those things she abhorred), in order to vanquish Evelyn forever.

 

Now that's terrific. I didn't like the ending, but what you wrote makes me appreciate it more.

You are very right, Martha had to revert to cruelty to rid the house of the cruelty.

 

guestinthehouse30.jpg

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OK. I'm getting really creeped out by the message boards right now. I just tried to reply to your post, and when I scrolled down to copy your words, I saw some pictures from the movie THAT HAVE NOT BEEN POSTED. How bizarre is that?

 

They were the end caps of Aunt Martha driving Evelyn from the house..... but the rest of your post wasn't there..... Twilight Zone, anyone?

 

Anyway, I may be wrong, but at the beginning of the movie, I thought there were some scenes in which you could see Miriam looking a little too lovingly at Ralphie... and Evelyn's watchful eyes caught that extra loving look.....I will have to go back and watch the beginning again to see if it's really there..... because I am going MAD... do you hear me?..... MAD......aaaaaaaaahhhhhh!

 

Is that the flapping of wings? ..................

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What's shakin', Bronxilla? -- I was blown away by Anne Baxter's performance as

Evelyn Heath in GUEST IN THE HOUSE. The finesse with which she portrays this (to

say the least) emotionally complex character, is astonishing. Her body language -- the

use of her hands as an expression of guile or fear -- even the slow, deliberate turn of her

neck and imperceptible hunching of the shoulders, tells us quite a lot. She arrives

black-clad, (the hat looks disturbingly witch-like) into the sunny household of the

Proctors. Her face is pasty-white and her make-up looks harsh. She doesn't even

have to say a word -- we automatically know there is something out of balance,

but...what?

 

You are the master of description. I'm constantly amazed by how well you describe the

appearance and actions of characters.

 

guestinthehouse31.jpg

 

GUEST IN THE HOUSE takes place in one of those cozy 1940's Colonial farmhouses

with ceiling beams, roaring fireplaces, charming bric-a-brac, ocean views, Jerome Cowan

as "friend of the family". (you know, like Melvyn Douglas in MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS

DREAM HOUSE). It's the kind of place you tell yourself you're going to buy once you win

the lottery, and then read mystery stories and paint watercolors for the rest of your life.

 

My goodness! Look at you! That's tremendous.

 

Aline MacMahon as "spinster" Aunt Martha, is the heart and soul of the movie, and she

is splendid. Note how she is filmed upon her introduction to Evelyn, and keep it in mind as

the story unfolds.

 

Very observant, B. You're on it.

 

I don't think I've seen ever Ralph in this kind of role before, as an artist. He's definitely

not the dullish, square guy that I have a silly fondness for, lol. He and Ruth were obviously

not afraid to show their physical affection for one another. Their playful, healthy sexuality

(and Miriam's) is contrasted with death-obsessed repression.

 

You're on fire! I was also pleasantly surprised to see ol' Ralphie boy in such a role.

 

Hey there, Quiet Gal -- would you have been fooled by Evelyn?

 

My first and quickest answer would be no. But.... my completely HONEST answer would

be... I hope not. Because...................

 

In real life.... "shadowy or duplicitous people" don't come with their own foreshadowing mood music.... ha!

 

:D

 

All kidding aside... I don't honestly know if I would have been completely "unfooled" by

her at first...I'd like to think I would not. But I feel certain as things progressed... if I had

been in that household... ONE THING that I would NOT have fallen prey to was her

suggestions. Buying in to all the half truth and innuendo about people I know and care

about would not be something I would do and I say that because I am a very "let's go talk

to them and get the whole story" sort of person. I like to look at what a person actually

does or says instead of what someone told me they did or said. Once I saw that there

was a "silent" smear campaign going on against people I know and trust (especially by

someone I KNEW was not mentally well) I don't think I'd have been taken in. (at

least... I hope not anyway)

 

Your feelings are exactly mine. I would have been very much like Doug at the outset. I'd

want to be very accepting and helpful with Evelyn because she is the gal my younger brother

has feelings for. As time progressed, I may start to figure things out on my own. That

would all depend on how much time I spent with Evelyn.

 

And I'm definitely like you when it comes to trusting the words of an outsider versus my wife,

family, and close friends. That wouldn't fly.

 

First of all... if my husband were an artist and he had a beautiful model working for him

like that... it would NOT have been under THOSE sort of conditions.... because the best

way to avoid vicious gossip and rumor is to not give the "appearance" of evil.(Especially if

that person lived under my roof) Even if I had NO worry at all and I totally believed and

trusted in my husband (as this wife did) he'd have had that studio of his set up in a corner

of the living room.... out in the open... for all the world to see.

 

But Doug is an artist and he needs to have his space. He's the the one bringing in the

money, supporting the family. Would you feel more comfortable if he had a studio downtown

where Miriam and he had their sessions? He's at least in the HOUSE. Ann has access to

him. That little sign on the door isn't a lock.

 

During the dancing scene, we are told a little about the personalities of Ann and Doug. Ann

wants to lock the door, keep others out. She wants her intimate moments with Doug to be

in private. Doug doesn't care who sees. He's no "clodhopper." I think this is important

because Doug is telling us that he has nothing to hide. I don't think he does, either.

 

Because lies are only able to fool someone if they are able to be believed. If there is a

hint that it might be true... then the seeds of doubt are able to take root. And THAT was

the real power Evelyn seemed to have over everyone. She used implication and false worry

to take in unsuspecting people. By her false accusations she was able to start a smokeless

wildfire of doubt and speculation.

 

Some people are easily fooled because they wish to believe what they wish to believe. Those

who are closest to Doug should know better, though.

 

She FIRST took in poor Dan... who LOVED her. HE would never be suspicious because

he was blinded by his care and concern for her both as a doctor and as her beloved

betrothed. And not only that... she "covered" her tracks with him by making it LOOK like

she was being open about how deceptive she could be (w/ the diary). (Now THAT was

quite trick) Little did he know there was a WHOLE OTHER LAYER to her deceit that he

knew nothing about.

 

That's a phenomenal point. The diary truly was "quite a trick." Anyone who shares their

most intimate thoughts from their diary must be on the level with us. Right?

 

And I find it really interesting that the one who ended up "saving the day" was... the

Aunt. I think she alone possessed the "power" to truly stand up to the "beast"(ha) because

she had fought it once before... in the form of her own brother. She KNEW the kind

of hold someone like Evelyn could have on other people and their sympathies. And

she never really bought into all the half truths and outright lies that were starting to

swirl around that house. She kept Evelyn in the right perspective more or less throughout.

 

Nicely said.

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Hi, Creepy! -- OK. I'm getting really creeped out by the message boards right

now. I just tried to reply to your post, and when I scrolled down to copy your words, I saw

some pictures from the movie THAT HAVE NOT BEEN POSTED. How bizarre is that?

 

They were the end caps of Aunt Martha driving Evelyn from the house..... but the rest of

your post wasn't there..... Twilight Zone, anyone?

 

When I saw that I was attacked by the duplication monster, I fought back by placing my

caps of Evelyn on the dupe post. They were originally at the end of my initial post. Boo!

 

Anyway, I may be wrong, but at the beginning of the movie, I thought there were some

scenes in which you could see Miriam looking a little too lovingly at Ralphie... and

Evelyn's watchful eyes caught that extra loving look.....I will have to go back and

watch the beginning again to see if it's really there.

 

I'll have to check it out again, myself. I do think Doug and Miriam cared about each other,

but in a friendly way. You know, like "Ollie" and "Alice." Good friends, that's all. :P

 

because I am going MAD... do you hear me?..... MAD......aaaaaaaaahhhhhh!

 

Is that the flapping of wings?

 

:D Look, they're everywhere!

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> {quote:title=JackFavell wrote:}{quote}

> Hello.......

 

OK, now I'M getting creeped out...I could have SWORN your little "hello" was posted BEFORE FankGrimes' post to you where he called you "Creepy". Now it's placed AFTER it!

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OK, now I'M getting creeped out...I could have SWORN your little "hello" was posted

BEFORE FankGrimes' post to you where he called you "Creepy". Now it's placed

AFTER it!

 

Ohhh, stop. My "Creepy" post is still before hers. I didn't think the post took, so I tried

it again and noticed it did go through. I had another double-post dealy.

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Hola, Evelyn -- No no no...I meant that I saw her "hello" BEFORE your "Creepy" post

and now it's after.

 

Ohhhh! So my post hadn't hit the board yet until Jackie's "hello" post. Now I get it. This

has happened in the past on this board, particularly on the larger threads, like this one.

 

You did it on purpose to confuse me! :P

 

You are naturally confused.

 

Moja sestra, Irena -- STOP IT, Frank, or should I call you Gregory? Maybe even

Sergius ?

 

I'm Father Sergius?

 

Now where did I put my brooch?

 

Check the bird cage.

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