EXPERIMENT PERILOUS (1944)
Semi-oddly, Lukas had married the young girl knowing she was not in love with him. Before this, he improbably took her to Europe to educate her and place her in social whirl. Now, in New York he becomes obsessed with jealousy for Lamarr and a young writer who is openly crazy about her, kills the young man and would do the same to Brent and Lamarr were it not for Brent's sleuthing.
Albert Dekker, as Brent's bohemian artist pal, and other supporting roles, are well played. The film is solidly directed by Jacques Tourneur who graduated from B movies (most of them much admired today) to A features with this picture.
The movie is nicely atmospheric, with fine, moody photography and production design, as well as a good "haunted place" music score It is none too convincing however. The execution is superior to the plot, which includes improbabilities and holes.
Paul Lukas, who played, sometimes with commendable reserve, sometimes with obvious dramatics, both heroes and sinister types, is over-villainous here. Hedy Lamarr, as gorgeous an actress as ever graced the silver screen, was never very talented, had very limited expressions. The casting of Lamarr with relatively inexpressive George Brent (who, however, was talented, likable and did well in his many roles) is peculiar. The result is that Lukas overplays, Lamarr underplays but Brent is just right. This neo-gothic drama reminds one of many movie melodramas, in particular "Gaslight", made in England in 1939 and remade in the U.S. in 1944. (Edwin Jahiel)