Shock – USA, 1946 – reviews and film free to watch online

 
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Shock is a 1946 American Film-Noir thriller feature film about a distraught woman who is sent to a private sanitarium by a man she saw committed a murder.

Directed by Alfred Werker from a screenplay written by Eugene Ling based on a storyline by Albert DeMond with additional dialogue by Martin Berkeley, the 20th Century Fox production stars Vincent Price, Lynn Bari, Frank Latimore and Anabel Shaw. Produced by Aubrey Schenck.

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“The film is most effective in its depiction of the treatment administered to a perfectly sane woman – these are quite distressing and uncomfortable and retain a quiet power […] A neat and nasty little thriller that boasts an early role for Price, whose suavely sinister and tortured performance throughout the film, is the kind he became famous for.” Behind the Couch

“The unfortunate part of the film is that it really doesn’t work well – its greatest attributes are the noir atmosphere and plot base. I enjoyed it, as I often do with weak, but interesting, cinema, but don’t expect the great writing and momentum-building pace of many of the ‘dark cinema’ of this era.” DVD Beaver

“Clocking in at 70 minutes, Shock is a pretty good little suspense yarn with the usual shadowy characteristics. At times it seems more of the psychological horror variant, with a dream sequence that has the panicked Janet running through a misty room, only to encounter a giant door that will not budge, as well as crazed inmate escaping from his cell on a dark and rainy night, nearly strangling a nurse to death.” DVD Drive-In

“This is an interesting little movie; though I don’t think it quite lives up to its premise, nonetheless it has a strong beginning (with a great little dream sequence to kick things off) and a strong ending, plus it is blessed by a good performance by Vincent Price before he became a horror star.” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

Shock grows a little melodramatic as it reaches its end, but is worth seeing for an overlooked Price performance.” Flick Attack

“It’s as unpretentious as so many other noirs are, clocks in at a very acceptable 70 minutes, and has some moments that could easily have been dressed up in gothic robes and pushed from the realm of thriller into outright horror. In other words… this is a little gem.” For It Is Man’s Number

“Dismissing the morose performance of Vincent Price in the leading role and the purely mechanical iciness of Lynn Bari as his accomplice in crime, and dismissing, too, the crude and tawdry nature of the script, one is forced to challenge this picture as a social disservice at this time.” The New York Times, March 9, 1946

…Shock certainly possesses all the ingredients for what should’ve been a tight little film noir. But the 70-minute running time often feels a whole lot longer thanks to Eugene Ling’s egregiously talky screenplay and the distinctly low-rent atmosphere, with the end result a film that’s not even remotely as effective as its premise might’ve indicated.” Reel Film Reviews

Shock was the first time that Price was cast in the type of mad scientist role that would later become his trademark.  For that reason, Shock has an important place in the history of cinematic terror. But, unfortunately, Shock itself is kind of forgettable.  It’s pretty much your standard thriller, one that makes the mistake of revealing Price’s villainy from the start.” Through the Shattered Lens

“An occasionally creepy thriller […]  When Shock was first released, psychiatry was still somewhat feared and misunderstood by the general public and some critics found the film irresponsible for its portrayal of the profession and condemned the producers for exploiting public misgivings about psychiatry.” TV Guide

Cast and characters:

  • Vincent Price … Doctor Richard Cross
  • Lynn Bari … Nurse Elaine Jordan
  • Frank Latimore … Lt. Paul Stewart
  • Anabel Shaw … Mrs Janet Stewart
  • Stephen Dunne … Doctor Stevens (as Michael Dunne)
  • Reed Hadley … District Attorney O’Neill
  • Renee Carson … Miss Hatfield – Head Nurse
  • Charles Trowbridge … Doctor H.J. Harvey

Filming locations:

Backlot, 20th Century Fox Studios – 10201 Pico Boulevard., Century City, Los Angeles, California

Technical details:

  • 70 minutes
  • Black and white
  • Aspect ratio: 1.37: 1
  • Audio: Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

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