When Strangers Marry


Drama Mystery
67 min     6     1944     USA


A naive small-town girl comes to New York City to meet her husband, and discovers that he may be a murderer.


John Chard wrote:
Your life may depend on it! When Strangers Marry (AKA: Betrayed) is directed by William Castle and written by Philip Yordan and Dennis J. Cooper. It stars Dean Jagger, Kim Hunter, Robert Mitchum and Neil Hamilton. Music is by Dimitri Tiomkin and cinematograpy by Ira H. Morgan. A compact William Castle noir that finds Hunter marrying a man she barely knows (Jagger), only to find he may be a murderer. Robert Mitchum is on hand for help and advice… Well put together by Castle who keeps things brisk and simple whilst keeping the mystery element high, that in turn does justice to the decent script. There’s plenty of noir touches, from expressionistic photography and up-tilts, to cool montages and feverish scenes. Some odd characters add to the psychological discord, while Tiomkin blends jazzy dance strains with “he’s behind you” type rumbles. Cast performances are more solid than anything spectacular, but Mitchum serves very early notice of what a presence and icon he was to become. Some sequences look cheap, which for a Monogram cheapie is to be expected, and this type of pic has been done far better by others, notably Hitchcock and Lewton, both of whom Castle doffs his cap towards. But this never outstays its welcome and there’s plenty here for the noir lover to get hooked on. 7/10