Hangover Square (Brahm, 1945)

Hangover Square (John Brahm, 1945)

In the shadows of a dimly lit antique shop, we see a knife plunge into a man, watch him fall to the floor, and see a fire begin to build around him from a shattered oil lamp – all from the point of view of the murderer. (I lost a little respect for Psycho after seeing this scene which was filmed 15 years prior and, truthfully, better too.) The man stumbles through the dark streets and barges into a residence where two high-class folks watch him approach. They welcome him with open arms and we quickly learn this murderer is a well-respected musical composer. The film has several fantastic scenes like these, pushing the limits for the time period, and presenting some truly shocking and sad events. And in the meantime, the atmospheric little community marches on through it all, as the hunt for the murderer takes a backseat to the night life and the odd town celebrations. It’s not often you have a film with a murderer as the main character that’s main focus isn’t on being a crime story. I applaud its uniqueness, but wonder if it borders slightly on gimmicky.  8.75/10

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