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Cause For Alarm! (1951)

cause for alarm

For this MGM black and white feature from Tay Garnett we have Loretta Young starring in a film produced and scripted by her then husband Tom Lewis. This is a short 74 minute day in the life of a housewife whose husband is ill, bedridden and quite possibly about to be murdered.

In the course of this feature we get narration from Loretta’s character over a flashback to happier times when she first meets Barry Sullivan who is taken with her immediately. She comes around to his way of thinking and much to the dismay of mutual friend Bruce Cowling they marry. Cowling is the doctor who Young was a nurse for but now she has moved on to a career as a housewife. Sullivan is convinced that both Young and Cowling are slowly killing him with poison and eventually lets Young in on his suspicions and the fact that he has had her mail a letter to the district attorney stating just that. From there the film goes about Young’s misadventures and confrontations with Sullivan as the film gets to it’s conclusion.

This is an odd film for an MGM production as it’s pretty sparse in both scope and the fact that it seems like I am watching a warped episode of Leave It To Beaver and is June trying to kill Ward or isn’t she. We even have a little boy who has befriended Young and she is only to happy to keep him fed with milk and cookies. Any collector of film and tv memorabilia today would just love to have this kids costume for the film. He is decked out in a complete Hopalong Cassidy costume from spurs and boots to the hat and holstered guns. I’ll bet those items are worth a pretty penny on History Channels American Pickers show!

Turning up briefly we get Carl ‘Alfalfa” Switzer for the trivia crowd and I couldn’t help but chuckle when Barry Sullivan is introduced as George Jones. That’s the name of my favorite and might I add greatest true Country Music singer that ever strummed a guitar at the Grand Ole Opry. As for this film I have to admit I thought there was going to be an added twist at the end that didn’t come to pass and I can’t help but think it wound up on the cutting room floor. Overall I don’t think this one has dated to well but if you are a Loretta fan…….

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