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directed by Pat Jackson
USA 1950


Unheralded little thriller with a number of nice touches. Little Gigi Perreau (Susan) has the pivotal role and comes through beautifully. If we don't identify with her or her emotional trauma, the movie doesn't work. Fortunately, we do.


Looks like this was another B-movie from MGM's Dore Schary period when he was refashioning the studio's star-studded image. The under-rated Scott and Sothern are certainly playing against type, he as a kind-hearted father, she as a cold-hearted murderess. Oddly, the screenplay shares focus among these four players instead of centralizing one or two as is usually the case. In terms of actual screen time, it's probably Nancy Davis's movie, though she was likely too unknown to get star billing. Then too, whatever happened to Kristine Miller as Scott's faithless wife. She certainly looks the part and acts it wickedly.


Anyway, this all adds up to a very effective little thriller, proving that even though late to the party, MGM could B- movie with the best of them.

Excerpt of review from Doug Doepke for located HERE


Theatrical Release: 19 May 1950 (USA)

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:23:33

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.69 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
� Theatrical trailer (1:46)

DVD Release Date: October 13th, 2015
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Chapters 11





Shadow on the Wall, not to be confused with Columbia's The Shadow on the Window, represents MGM's entry in child in peril sub-genre of film noir cinema - RKO's The Window, Fox's A Blueprint for Murder or British noirs The Fallen Idol, Bang! You're Dead and The Weapon. Ann Sothern, after ten comedic Maisie pictures and being a recipient of A Letter to Three Wives, takes a center stage in this criminal drama as Dell Faring. In a fit of rage, she murders her sister Celia (Kristine Miller, Too Late for Tears) and sees Celia's husband, David (Zachary Scott) put on the death row for the murder. Only David's 6-year old daughter, Susan (very good Gigi Perreau) can identify the true murderer in the shadow on the wall she saw that night and Dell will stop at nothing for truth to come out. Ann Sothern is miscast in the dark role, although she would be back in noir territory in Fritz Lang's Blue Gardenia. Zachary Scott excelled in noir playing a vicious criminal (The Mask of Dimitrios), a sleasebag (Mildred Pierce), a money-hungry shark (Ruthless), a homme fatale (Danger Signal), a sadistic cripple (Whiplash), etc. but was as good in likable roles (The Southerner, The Unfaithful). In Shadow on the Wall, he is one of those likeable protagonists who gets short end of the stick in life, but his role becomes smaller after the murder. Most of the sleuthing to clear David's name is done by a children
psychiatrist (Nancy Reagan) and his lawyer (John McIntire).

The film makes a home video debut on made-on-demand disc from Warner Archive - strangely, it wasn't released under "Film Noir Collection" banner. The MGM production gets a new progressive transfer from a very good source. There is some noticeable damage, especially during the special effects shots, but overall the contrast is very good and blacks are deep. The mono soundtrack featuring an early score by André Previn (Scene of the Crime, Cause For Alarm!, The Fastest Gun Alive, Elmer Gantry, Long Day's Journey Into Night, Dead Ringer, Kiss Me, Stupid) has no damage and overall sounds fine. An original theatrical trailer is included as an extra. An interesting, not typical noir gets a very good release from Warner Archive Collection that would please any film noir fan.

  - Gregory Meshman


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