Experiment Perilous (1944)
Officially based on a novel by Margaret Carpenter, Experiment Perilous would seem to be more inspired by MGM's psychological thriller Gaslight. Set at the turn of the century, the film stars Hedy Lamarr as Allida, the beautiful young wife of an elderly "gentleman" named Nick (Paul Lukas). Treating his wife like a possession, Nick keeps her a virtual prisoner in their London town house, cutting off all contact with the outside world. The situation is exacting a terrible emotional toll on Allida and her stepson Alec (George N. Neise). Enter kindly psychiatrist Huntington Bailey (George Brent), who takes it upon himself to free Allida and Alec from the despotic control of the insanely jealous Nick. The film's "money scene" is a frenzied gun battle in an aquarium, replete with shattered glass, gushing water and floundering fish; this sequence would be imitated ad nauseum in such future films as Lethal Weapon (1988) and Mission: Impossible (1996). … More
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Critic Reviews for Experiment Perilous
I wish that the strongest passages of Experiment Perilous were more representative of the film's overall achievements. It's practically an essay in the boons and the perils of starting off wonderfully.
Tourneur's well crafted suspense thriller about a scary husband menacing his wife (Hedy Lamarr) bears thematic resemblance to the far superior Gaslight, by George Cukor, for which Ingrid Bergman won an Oscar.
Splendid period thriller from Tourneur. Deserves to be better known.
Audience Reviews for Experiment Perilous
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