Sunday, January 10, 2016


Published on Feb 21, 2015
A well-known judge has become a fugitive from the police, with a large reward on his head. A reporter believes that the judge is hiding in a private sanitarium, so she seeks out a private investigator and asks him to pretend to be insane, so that he can get inside the sanitarium and look for the judge. The investigator is admitted to the asylum, and encounters many dangers while trying to prove that the judge is there.

Directed by Budd Boetticher (as Oscar Boetticher); written by Eugene Ling and Malvin Wald; starring Lucille Bremer, Richard Carlson, Douglas Fowley.

No pretentions, but the narrative streams at a good pace, it has a reasonable dose of suspense, there are brutal things going on there, but the film director doesn't inflict on us more than just the strict necessary amount - and it ends happily. The criminal is caught - and boy gets the girl... Pleasantly entertaining. Shared on Google+
Behind Locked Doors
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBudd Boetticher
Produced byEugene Ling
Screenplay byEugene Ling
Malvin Wald
Story byMalvin Wald
StarringLucille Bremer
Richard Carlson
Douglas Fowley
Music byIrving Friedman
CinematographyGuy Roe
Edited byNorman Colbert
Distributed byEagle-Lion Films
Peter Rodgers Organization
Release dates
Running time
63 minutes
CountryUnited States
Behind Locked Doors is a 1948 black-and-white film noir directed by Budd Boetticher and starring Lucille Bremer,Richard Carlson and Tor Johnson.


  • 1Plot
  • 2Cast
  • 3Reception
  • 4Reception
  • 5References
  • 6
    External links


    At the behest of a pretty reporter, an amorously forward private detectivegoes undercover as a patient in a private sanitarium in search of a judge hiding out from the police. The two plan to split the $10,000 reward for the judge's capture. As the reporter and detective begin to fall in love, the detective also falls deeper into danger from an abusive attendant and difficult inpatients. The latter include an arsonistand "The Champ," a lunatic ex-boxer who attacks anyone put into a room with him after he hears what sounds like a bell.
    Although the film features noir lighting and camerawork, depicts corruption, and provides suspense, it lacks most of the characterizations common to film noir. And it ends happily for the protagonists.


    BEHIND LOCKED DOORS (director: Budd Boetticher; screenwriters: Eugene Ling/Malvin Wald/story by Mr. Wald; cinematographer: Guy Roe; editor: Norman Colbert; music: Irving Friedman; cast: Richard Carlson (Mr. Stewart), Lucille Bremer (Kathy Lawrence), Thomas Browne Henry (Dr. Clifford Porter), Douglas Fowley (Larson), Ralf Harolde (Fred Hopps), Herbert Heyes (Judge Finlay Drake), Tor Johnson (The Champ), Gwen Donovan (Madge Bennett), John Holland (Dr. J.R. Bell), Morgan Farley (Topper); Runtime: 62; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Eugene Ling; Eagle Lion Films/Kino Video; 1948)

    "Aside from being well directed, this melodrama has little else to recommend it."Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
    Budd Boetticher directs a fast-paced low-budget B-film thriller with a far-fetched idea as its storyline and presents a shaky portrayal of the mental health profession. The film's claustrophobic and oppressive surroundings in a private mental hospital, moves this paranoiac tale somewhat into film noir territory. Though because the crime story is so straightforward, I think that might be a stretch. It's the dark situation created by the narrative that brings out the perverse nature of those establishment figures in charge of the helpless that gives this film its creepy feeling, which makes this programmer more presentable than expected. A lesser director than Boetticher would have been caught in all the film's snake-pit absurdities and never would have come away with such a decent result. 
    Attractive Kathy Lawrence (Bremer) is an investigative reporter for a San Francisco newspaper who has a tip that a crooked ex-judge, Finlay Drake (Heyes), who is on the lam and has a $10,000 reward posted by the law for his capture, is hiding out in a private mental hospital and is abetted on the outside by his girlfriend Madge Bennett. Kathy after the scoop agrees to split the reward money with the new P.I. on the block, Stewart (Carlson), if he would agree to go undercover as a patient in the mental hospital to make certain the judge is there. Kathy becomes his first-client, in a manner of speaking.
    This plan calls for Stewart to have an alias and to convince a state psychiatrist that he's mentally ill and needs to be placed in a sanitarium. Posing as a husband and wife, Stewart easily gets a letter recommending his admittance from Dr. Bell (John Holland) as a manic depressive. The letter is Stewart's ticket into the sanitarium, where he finds one attendant, Hopps (Harolde), to be kindhearted but secretive about why he works in a place where the patients are regularly abused by the other sadistic attendant Larson (Fowley) while the sleazy director Dr. Porter (Henry) just ignores this behavior. Spending his time sniffing around for the judge while his wife acts as liaison on visiting days, the private detective hasn't spotted his mark yet but believes he's hiding in the locked ward--where they keep the violent patient called the Champ (Tor Johnson-cult fave Ed Wood icon). Armed with a photo Kathy slipped him of the judge, Stewart slips an arsonist patient (Morgan Farley) some matches and he responds by setting a blaze in the locked ward. Rushing to put out the fire, Stewart spots the judge in a private room. But the wary judge becomes suspicious of the inquisitive Stewart and when the evil trio take possession of Stewart's photo of the judge, they realize he's a spy and plan to deal harshly with him. Porter who agreed to keep the judge for a month and is handsomely paid, has kept him for 5 weeks and in a panic tells the judge he wants him out immediately. The judge executes a plan where he throw Stewart into the Champ's cell and the ex-boxer obliges by giving Stewart a severe beating. But, as expected in such a predictable storyline, the enterprising Kathy devices a plan to rescue her private eye before the judge can escape with Madge.
    No character was developed, the storyline never seemed believable, and despite the attempts made through the dark photography to create tension that wasn't possible because we didn't know enough about the lead characters and the villains were merely cardboard characters. Aside from being well directed, this melodrama has little else to recommend it. Boetticher is better known today for the many splendid Westerns he directed during the 1950s with Randolph Scott as star, which include Commanche Station, Ride Lonesome, and Tall T.

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