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Obsession (1949)


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WARNING: This post includes relentless SPOILERS and I don't advise reading it if you haven't seen this film. It's all raving anyway, you aren't missing anything here.
Did anyone catch this movie on 9/4? I sure hope so. I found it surprisingly good, but perhaps that's because I was expecting less. There were a lot of things I liked about this film, like how we didn't get to see him finding out about his wife's affair or plotting his revenge, but rather the film started as he began putting his plan into action. I liked his carefulness, how you could see him recalculating his plan every time something went wrong, and how he wasn't brought down by any accidents. He knew where he stood up until the very end. And what a surprise that he... he, sort of... got away with it?! Did I hear that right?

I really liked Robert Newton, an actor I wasn't really familiar with before this. His hero/villain was intelligent, elegant and ruthlessly determined. I liked his relationship with his prisoner, how honest he was with him, letting him know of every advancement and how the prisoner tried to use every card he had, even when it was bleakest. Even though I was rooting for the bad guy every step of the way, I got to like his prisoner, and wasn't too disappointed when he ended up living. At least he got some good "last words" anyway, "You've got a body on your hands."

Now, I was holding my breath through the whole thing. After such a promising set-up I just knew they were going to cop out at the end. My heart sank when the little dog came into it, but thankfully it wasn't that easy to do our hero in. With the low expectations I had, I was impossible to disappoint, and I was happy to find the ending was actually okay. The film as a whole didn't go as far as I was hoping, but it went farther than I was expecting (possibly because I didn't know it was a British film, and I was expecting it to turn all... Breen-ish.) The acid bath did not become a big factor, but it's presence was very eerie and added to the atmosphere. Sure, the film was farfetched, but I loved it. One of the nicest surprises I've gotten from TCM in quite a while.

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