Experiment Perilous (1944)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

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).
Classics , Drama , Mystery & Suspense , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
RKO Radio Pictures Inc.

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George Brent
as Dr. Huntington Bailey
Hedy Lamarr
as Allida Bedereaux
Paul Lukas
as Nick Bedereaux
Albert Dekker
as Claghorne
Carl Esmond
as John Maitland
Olive Blakeney
as Cissie Bedereaux
George N. Neise
as Alec Gregory
Mary Servoss
as Miss Wilson
Julia Dean
as Deria
William Post Jr.
as D.A. MacDonald
Bill Ward
as Alec (age 5)
Billy Ward
as Alec, age 5
Alan Ward
as Shoes
Nolan Leary
as Bellhop
Adrienne D'Ambricourt
as Voice Instructor
Larry Wheat
as Caterer
Sam McDaniel
as Porter
Edward Clark
as Train Steward
Joel Friedkin
as Brakeman
Jack Deery
as Doorman
John Elliott
as Telephone Operator
Michael Orr Hughes
as Nick (age 3)
Peggy Miller
as Cissie (age 8)
Evelyn Falke
as Cissie (age 5)
Janet Clark
as Deria as a Girl
John Mylong
as Nick Sr.
Perc Launders
as Ambulance Man
Michael Visaroff
as Ballet Master
Lawrence Wheat
as Caterer
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Critic Reviews for Experiment Perilous

All Critics (5)

Highly atmospheric thriller.

Full Review… | January 31, 2012
Classic Film and Television

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.

Full Review… | January 17, 2010
Nick's Flick Picks

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.

Full Review… | July 20, 2009

Elegant mystery melodrama.

Full Review… | October 24, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Splendid period thriller from Tourneur. Deserves to be better known.

August 13, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Experiment Perilous


Overheated but entertaining drama, Hedy of course is gorgeous.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer


After a terrific opening sequence this film falls apart. Check out Gaslight for a better version of essentially the same story.

Will Miller
Will Miller

[IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b106/hereinmyhead/poster.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036807/]Experiment Perilous[/URL] is a decent film carried out by a brilliant cast and capable director. It really held my interest from the beginning but it sure stalls toward the middle. I mean why put the fabulously beautiful and talented Hedy Lamarr in a film that is all about her character (Allida) and yet center it mostly around the men. Sure Paul Lukas and George Brent are fun to watch but it is Allida that we came to see DAMMIT. [IMG]http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b106/hereinmyhead/image426.jpg[/IMG] The film is a Gaslight like gothic tale that is better. It does not seem contrived. Though it is a costume drama it retains its Daphne type fangothic like qualities like. I wish it was a better setup for Lamarr but I guess anything is better than nothing at all.

Randy Emerson
Randy Emerson

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