The Red House

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“The Red House” is a thriller film of 1947 directed by Delmer Daves. It’s a psychological thriller based on the novel of the same name by George Agnew Chamberlain. The plot revolves around a secret hidden within an isolated house, which threatens to destroy the lives of those who discover it.

The story takes place in rural America and focuses on a family consisting of Pete Morgan (played by Edward G. Robinson), his sister Ellen (played by Judith Anderson), and adopted daughter Meg (played by Allene Roberts). They live on an isolated farm near a mysterious red house. The house has been the subject of legends and superstitions in the surrounding village for many years.

Pete is a silent and protective man towards Meg, and has always refused to ask her questions about his past and the red house. When Meg falls in love with Nath Storm (played by Lon McCallister), a young worker on the nearby farm, tensions and long-buried family secrets begin to emerge.

As the story unfolds, it becomes apparent that the Red House harbors a dark and dangerous secret. Pete and Ellen seem to be tied to this secret, and Nath’s presence awakens painful memories and internal strife. The film explores the themes of inner darkness, guilt and redemption.

“The Red House” is known for its eerie atmosphere and its effective use of darkness and the surrounding landscape to build suspense. Edward G. Robinson’s acting is lauded for its intensity and his ability to convey the angst of Pete’s character. The film offers a combination of psychological thriller and family drama, with a healthy dose of suspense and mystery along the way.

While ‘Red House’ didn’t become a big hit upon its release, it has been re-evaluated over the years and is considered a classic of the genre. It influenced other works over the years and left a lasting mark on noir cinema and in psychological cinema.

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Plot

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The storyline of ‘The Red House’ revolves around a family who lives on an isolated farm near a mysterious house called ‘The Red House’. Pete Morgan is a taciturn and protective man who lives with his sister Ellen and adopted daughter Meg. Pete has always hidden information about his past and the red house from Meg, arousing curiosity in the girl.

When Meg falls in love with Nath Storm, a young worker from the nearby farm, secrets begin to emerge. Pete becomes increasingly obsessed that Nath might get too close to the red house and its dark history. Meanwhile, Meg and Nath discover a secret road that leads directly to the house and decide to explore it.

As the story unfolds, flashbacks are revealed that reveal some of Pete and Ellen’s past related to the red house. It turns out that there was a murder related to the house years ago, and Pete feels deeply guilty about something that happened during that time. Buried secrets slowly emerge, threatening to destroy the family’s stability.

Pete desperately tries to stop Meg and Nath from getting near the house and discovering the truth. Meanwhile, Meg begins experiencing nightmares and hallucinations that seem to be related to the mystery of the red house. Tensions mount as Pete becomes increasingly obsessed and internal conflicts arise in the family.

Eventually, the truth is revealed in a dramatic way. Pete confronts his dark past and seeks redemption for his mistakes. The story reaches an exciting climax involving all the characters and the house itself.

The storyline of “The Red House” is characterized by suspense, family secrets, psychological tension and a struggle for survival and redemption. The film explores themes such as the weight of guilt, the fragility of family relationships and the power of secrets that can destroy or save a person.

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Movie Characters

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“The Red House” features a number of characters who contribute to the plot of the film. Here is an overview of the main characters:

Pete Morgan (played by Edward G. Robinson): Pete is the head of the family, a quiet and protective man. He has a dark secret related to the red house and feels deeply guilty about something that happened in the past. He is determined to keep the secret hidden and protect his family.

Meg Morgan (played by Allene Roberts): Meg is Pete’s adopted daughter. She is a curious young girl who falls in love with Nath Storm. She becomes increasingly interested in the red house and its history, despite Pete’s warnings. Meg is at the center of the mystery and darkness surrounding the house.

Nath Storm (played by Lon McCallister): Nath is a young worker on the nearby farm who falls in love with Meg. Become his accomplice in the search for the secrets of the red house. Nath becomes increasingly involved in the danger and conflicts that arise due to the discoveries made together with Meg.

Ellen Morgan (played by Judith Anderson): Ellen is Pete’s sister and Meg’s aunt. She is a stern and mysterious woman who seems to be hiding her own secrets related to the red house. Ellen struggles with her feelings and her connection to the past.

Teller (played by Rory Calhoun): Teller is a friend of Nath’s and works on the nearby farm. He becomes involved in finding the secrets of the red house and fighting to protect Meg. Teller provides decisive help in trying to unravel the truth.

These are just some of the key characters featured in the film “The Red House”. Each of them contributes to the plot and the revelation of the secrets and conflicts surrounding the mysterious house.

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Production

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The film “The Red House” was produced by the American film producer Sol Lesser Productions. It was released by United Artists and was directed by Delmer Daves, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Charles O’Neal.

Production on the film began in 1946 and took place at Sol Lesser Studios in Hollywood, California. The film’s budget was relatively modest, but director Daves managed to create an eerie and atmospheric atmosphere with effective use of stage design, light and sound.

The cast of the film included renowned actors of the time, such as Edward G. Robinson as Pete Morgan, Allene Roberts as Meg Morgan, Judith Anderson as Ellen Morgan, Lon McCallister as Nath Storm and Rory Calhoun as by Teller.

“The Red House” was shot in black and white, which helped to accentuate the film’s dark atmosphere and sense of mystery. Cinematography was by Bert Glennon, who used light and shadow to create a dark and eerie atmosphere.

The film was released in theaters in the United States in February 1947 and received positive reviews for its combination of psychological thriller and family drama. While it wasn’t a big box office hit, it has been re-evaluated over the years and considered a classic of the genre.

The production of “The Red House” was a collaboration between creative talents and film companies of the time, who helped create a compelling and memorable film.

Distribution and Reception

“The Red House” was released in the United States by United Artists on February 16, 1947. Although it did not become a major commercial success upon release, the film has been re-evaluated over the years and is considered a classic of the genre.

Critics gave the film a generally positive reception. Delmer Daves’ direction was praised for its ability to create a dark and foreboding atmosphere, while Edward G. Robinson’s acting was particularly praised for his intensity as Pete Morgan. The film was praised for its combination of psychological thriller and family drama, as well as its ability to build suspense and tension.

Despite the critical acclaim, the film did not score big at the box office. However, over the years, “The Red House” has gained an increasing reputation among fans of film noir and psychological thrillers. It has become a cult film for fans of the genre, thanks to its compelling story and the dark and mysterious atmosphere it creates.

Retrospective evaluation has confirmed the film’s value in the cinematic landscape, recognizing its importance as an example of cinema noir and its influence on later works. “The Red House” is considered a significant film for its complex storytelling, suggestive staging and its ability to create suspense and emotional tension.

Overall, although “Red House” did not achieve great commercial success upon its release, it became a critically acclaimed film and earned an important place in the history of film noir and psychological thrillers.

Style

“The Red House” is known for its distinctive style and its ability to create an eerie and tense atmosphere. Here are some stylistic elements present in the film:

Cinema noir: “The Red House” is considered an example of cinema noir, a film genre characterized by dark stories, gloomy atmospheres, the use of light and shadow, and a narrative focused on crime, mystery and psychology of the characters. The film cleverly uses the typical visual elements of film noir to create a dark and disturbing atmosphere.

Cinematography and production design: Bert Glennon’s black-and-white cinematography adds to the sense of mystery and tension. Light and shadow are used to emphasize the dark atmosphere and to underline the internal conflicts of the characters. The scenography, with the red house as a central element, provides a suggestive and isolated environment, amplifying the sense of claustrophobia and secrecy.

Psychological Suspense: The film focuses on psychological suspense, rather than moments of overt action. The tension is built through the mystery surrounding the red house and the secrets of the characters. The public becomes emotionally involved in the discovery of these secrets and their consequent revelation.

Intense Acting: The acting of the protagonists, especially Edward G. Robinson as Pete Morgan, is characterized by great emotional intensity. Robinson is able to convey his character’s anguish and torment through his performance, helping to create an emotional connection with the audience.

Claustrophobic atmosphere: The film uses the isolated setting and the red house as a key element to create a sense of claustrophobia and oppression. This contributes to an oppressive and distressing atmosphere, which heightens the suspense and sense of imminent threat.

Overall, the style of “The Red House” is based on the combination of visual, narrative and performance elements to create a dark atmosphere and support the psychological thriller plot of the film. This distinctive style contributes to its status as a film noir classic.

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Director

The director of “The Red House” is Delmer Daves. Born July 24, 1904 in San Francisco, California, Daves was a prolific director and screenwriter in American cinema.

Daves began his career as a screenwriter in the 1930s, working on several successful films. He wrote the screenplay for Scarlet Road (1934), which earned him an Academy Award nomination. Subsequently, he began directing his own films in the 1940s, becoming known for his works in the western genre as well as other genres such as noir and melodrama.

“The Red House” is considered one of the most remarkable films in the filmography of Delmer Daves. The film was directed and written by him with Charles O’Neal, based on the novel by George Agnew Chamberlain.

Daves has been praised for his ability to create evocative atmospheres and direct the intense acting of his actors. He expertly used lights, shadows and settings to create a dark and foreboding atmosphere in “The Red House”.

In addition to ‘The Red House’, Delmer Daves directed and wrote several other successful films, including ‘Dark Passage’ (1947), ‘Broken Arrow’ (1950), ‘3:10 to Yuma’ (1957) and ‘ A Summer Place” (1959).

Delmer Daves has continued to work in the film industry for several decades, leaving a significant footprint with his diverse filmography. He died on August 17, 1977, but his contribution to cinema continues to be appreciated and studied even today.

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