I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Monday, December 05, 2016

The Night Walker (1964)

The horror and thriller movies of William Castle tend to all follow the same pattern -- creepy, sometime lurid tales that offer one or two big scary moments, but are often just standard fare.  The Night Walker is a little different because of the unusual story line and the star power involved.

Irene Trent (Barbara Stanwyck) is married to a rich man named Howard Trent (Hayden Rorke) who is blind.  It is not a happy union.  Irene is basically a hermit who doesn't go out of the house much.  Her husband is extremely jealous, and he believes Irene is cheating on him because she talks in her sleep.  She is dreaming about a man who is treating her better than Howard is.  Howard has gone so far to believe that Irene may be cheating on him with his attorney, Barry Morland (Robert Taylor).  One night, Howard and Irene get into an argument, and she runs out of the house after he raises a cane to her.  Not long after that, he senses something is going on in an upstairs laboratory in the house.  As soon as Howard enters the room, there's an explosion, and Howard is killed.

No trace of Howard's body is left, and the explosion is considered to be an accident.  But Irene is not free.  She keeps having dreams where it appears her badly burned late husband is coming after her.  She also continues to have dreams about a man (Lloyd Bochner) who appears to adore her.  The dreams have become so real that Irene doesn't know whether she is coming or going.   Is Irene going insane or is someone driving her mad?

There are a lot of unexplained actions and loose ends in this movie.  For example, why did Howard have a laboratory in the house and for what purpose? It is revealed that Irene has her own business -- a beauty shop -- in the middle of the film.  However, since it appeared that she wasn't leaving the house much while married to Howard, who was running the shop in her place?  Why did he allow her to keep the place if he was so rich and supposedly able to take care of her?  So many questions as the film goes on as it drags to its somewhat odd conclusion.

Robert Taylor and Barbara Stanwyck were once married to each other.  They had long divorced when they did this picture.  Hayden Rorke was best known for his role as Dr. Bellows on TV's "I Dream Of Jeannie".  Lloyd Bochner was a cast member on the nighttime soap, "Dynasty".  His character on that show was Cecil Colby, who was the brother of Connie Colby, a character played by Barbara Stanwyck on the "Dynasty" spin-off, "The Colbys".  However, Bochner and Stanwyck never had any scenes together on either of those series.

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