The Dark Past (1949) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Dark Past (1949)

The Dark Past (1949)

The Dark Past




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In this faithful remake of Blind Alley (1939), psychoanalyst Andrew Collins (Lee J. Cobb), his wife, his son, and some friends are taken hostage by escaped murderer Al Walker (William Holden) and his gang, including girlfriend Betty (Nina Foch). Collins, an advocate of rehabilitating criminals through psychiatry, induces his captor to talk about himself through the course of the night. By calmly and methodically piecing together the strands of the killer's unconscious motivation, Collins rids Walker of his literally murderous rage and prevents a massacre. Shrinks who practice in the noir universe are frequently painted as absurdly omnipotent. When not using their power for evil, like Dr. Cross (Vincent Price) in Alfred L. Werker's Shock (1946), they may be capable, like the benign Dr. Collins, of miracle cures. A more complex depiction of an unrealistically powerful, but ambiguously motivated, psychiatrist can be seen in Joseph Losey's The Sleeping Tiger (1954). In that British film, Dr. Clive Esmond (Alexander Knox) cures a criminal in a few short months but destroys his own marriage in the process.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Albert Duffy, Michael Blankfort, Philip MacDonald, Malvin Wald, Oscar Saul
In Theaters:
Columbia Pictures


William Holden
as Al Walker
Lee J Cobb
as Dr. Andrew Collins
Nina Foch
as Betty
Adele Jergens
as Laura Stevens
Stephen Dunne
as Owen Talbot
Lois Maxwell
as Ruth Collins
Steven Geray
as Prof. Fred Linder
Wilton Graff
as Frank Stevens
Charles Cane
as Sheriff
Harry Harvey Jr.
as John Larrapoe
Pat McGeehan
as Commentator
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Dark Past

Critic Reviews for The Dark Past

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | August 8, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

... a minor noir notable largely for Holden's uncharacteristically feral performance...

Full Review… | October 13, 2007
Turner Classic Movies Online

Another of the era's barely tolerable advertisements for Freudian psychoanalysis.

Full Review… | May 16, 2006
Lessons of Darkness

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