From The Mill Creek 50 Movie Dark Crimes Collection. This film-noir may look like a B-film, but it contains two powerful pieces of work, that of actor Edward G. Robinson and composer Miklos Rozsa.
A strange tale, "The Red House" benefits from one of Robinson's most flavorful performances, as a man harboring a dark secret past which returns to haunt him. Ably supporting Robinson is the strong Judith Anderson as the sister, the fine Lon McCallister as a callow but earnest youth, and the striking Rory Calhoun in one of his most impressive roles.
Directed in a somewhat standard fashion by Delmer Davis, interest is maintained by uniformly strong performances, and an extensive, full orchestral score by Miklos Rozsa. As in countless other films, Rozsa, inspired by Ravel (and the generic Debussy) weaves a wall-to-wall tapestry of psychological tension, further raising this enactment above its ordinary production design.
Devotees of Robinson can enjoy their favorite actor in his 53rd film, made at the peak of his powers. His unique film presence boasted a career of 99 films in 57 years, which was preceded by a 15-year stint on the New York stage. Robinson proved that one doesn't have to be unusually handsome to be a star, nor be relegated to minor character parts. Indeed, Robinson played leads in countless classics, with nary a weak performance. Few actors can make that claim.
The DVD transfer is not a restored print, and contains several stretches of poor audio and scratchy images. On a series called, "Hollywood Tough Guys," put out by Madacy Entertainment, one can still be grateful that "The Red House" is available, as respresentative of both Robinson's and Rozsa's unique contribution to film. 3 1/2 Stars 11-10-13