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Matt B. from GETZVILLE, NY
Reviewed on 7/16/2012...
Shock is a low rent noir movie from 20th Century Fox. A young delicate wife (Anabel Shaw) witnesses a husband beat his wife to death with a candlestick. The young wife goes into shock. Her husband (Frank Latimore) finds her a psychiatrist (Vincent Price), who, unluckily, turns out to be the wife killer. The shrink’s illicit squeeze (Lynn Bari), a nurse in the private sanitarium that the girl is transferred to, wants the doc to either drive the girl nuts so nobody will believe what she says or, failing that, knock the girl off.
The madhouse setting includes the familiar elements that will scare adults who were scared brickless by madhouse movies when they were kids. The strange patients. Sterile rooms. Needles. White coats. I mean, sensitive viewers will squirm at the prospect of diabolical caregivers messing up patients’ minds for their own greedy ends. Terrible to contemplate being helpless under somebody else’s power.
Another interesting point is that the movie touches on the effects of stress on civilians in war time. The young wife is highly strung because she first informed that her husband was KIA, only to find out later he was taken as a POW. Fearing what prison camps were like, she worried about him for two years. Talk about being run through the mill.
Finally, Vincent Price brings depth to the part of doctor gone off the Hippocratic rails. He didn’t want to murder his wife, but the moment got the better of him. But the cover-up and the urgings of his bad to the bone girlfriend drive down a path of destruction. Noir movies are relentless when it comes to the slippery slope of one bad act leads to another.
But the movie does drag a bit. I found myself longing for the end. Not a waste of time, but not a classic either.