Sunday, May 31, 2015

House by the River

House by the River is a 1950 film noir directed by Fritz Lang and starring Jane Wyatt (who was Spock's mother in Star Trek: TOS), Howland Chamberland (who had his debut in The Best Years of Their Lives, had an uncredited but memorable role in High Noon and then was blacklisted for 25 years by the House Un-American Activities Committee), Peter Brocco (who also has a role in the original Star Trek series) and Kathleen Freeman (who had a very busy career from 1948-2001). I had never heard of this until I ran across it on Youtube, but it is worth watching. The acting is good, the plot moves steadily with gradually increasing tension... and that river! That sinister river!


Slant Magazine gives it 3 out of 4 stars. Senses of Cinema says, "it marshals its limited resources to create a rich and pervasive atmosphere of decay and corruption" and "The film is seldom screened, and any chance to see it should not be missed." DVD Talk says, "this will mostly appeal to people who are already fans of Lang's films." Noir of the Week calls it a "buried jewel" and calls it "a pitch black gothic noir that though modestly budgeted and featuring low-wattage star-power, succeeds on nearly all levels". Rotten Tomatoes has a 62% critics score.


  1. Moral of the story. Kill your maid and write a book about it. Next time don't hide the body in the river.

    Nicely done.