Hangover Square Reviews
Takes place in Hangover Square, London. Mr. Bone gets alarmed after having found a bloody dagger in his coat pocket, and just read in the newspaper about a nasty murder of an old antique dealer, that had occured the other night. So he contacts a psychiatrist (George Sanders) who investigates a bit further in the matter but cannot find any connection to the antique dealer murder.
Mr. Bone starts to date a show girl, (Linda Darnell) whom he falls in love with and writes songs to. But later, he'll find out that the girl, Netta Longdon is not really a girl a man like George should fall in love with, since she is the typical notorious heart-breaker who only wants some new songs written specially for her and her act.
What I love about this movie is the fact that it's so convincing, the characters are fully developed and Laird Cregar truely is one of the most talented actors from his time. The only reason why you aren't familiar with his name, is because he never had the chance to appear in that many movies (didn't have the Gary Cooper or Cary Grant looks, if you know what I mean) and died in young age.
But I'm telling you that this is the type of movie that for some strange reason has been forgotten (and I'm not even sure if it's ever been released on DVD), despite it's excellence.
It plays very much with the ideas and the theories of the human psyche, that was on the subject during the 1940s, so in a way it's rather typical for it's time. The repressed anger of the psychopath, and so on. What's more so special about it, is that it portrays is a very brilliant way the psychosis Mr. Bone suffers, and you can strongly feel the slow transformation the lead character makes (parallelly through his own eyes)...
The music score which the character plays on the piano (called Concerto Macabre), written by the genious movie composer Bernard Herrmann, belongs to my all-time favorite music scores.
Highly recommended! Belongs to my favorite movies of the 1940s!
A further complication manifests in Netta (Linda Darnell), a conniving, cruel woman who is the subject of George's unrequited affections. Netta soon becomes the subject of Bone's brutal obsessions, provoked by exposure to loud, unpleasant noises.
"Hangover Square" is a competent thriller, effectively evoking a foggy, claustrophobic London; one can almost see Jack the Ripper stalking the same streets Bone does when struck by his dark periods. The problem, unfortunately, rests on an approach to the story. Despite a fine performance by Cregar, very little of his horror makes it to the screen. Director John Brahm focuses on the effects of Bone's disorder more than what it's like for the sufferer, meaning murder and the mayhem it causes take center stage rather than the psychological turmoil the protagonist experiences.
A better director could have hit pay dirt with such a story. In the same year, Alfred Hitchcock began his intense interest in psychoanalysis and its application to drama with "Spellbound." Though by no means a perfect picture, "Spellbound" set the stage for fruitful psychological thrillers, including "Vertigo" and "Psycho." Who knows what Hitchcock could have done with this intriguing source material ....