May 22, 2011

Flynn & Stanwyck's 'Cry Wolf' (1947): spooky!

I'm such a coward, really. When I saw Sixth Sense I had to sleep with my parents. Every time I see a picture that shows or suggests something horrible, I can't go alone to the kitchen at night and I remember the creepy scenes over and over and I feel that someone is following me, etc. 

Last night I saw Cry Wolf (1947; Peter Godfrey) and I really suffered, but in a good way. Some parts were spooky, but I could take them and enjoy the movie.

The story goes this way: Barbara arrives to Flynn's house to claim her recently deceased husband's fortune. Flynn was his uncle. The mansion is like in the country, in the middle of nowhere and there also live Flynn's young niece and a lot of servants. Nobody knew that the dead guy had been married, so Flynn is super unpleasant with Barbara. 

She stays in the mansion. The niece tells her that she believes that her uncle wants to kill her, just like he killed her brother. OOOOOhhhh. AND that the uncle has a secret laboratory and screams can be heard at night (which is great, because I think that in movies you should apply the "tell, don't show" formula; suggesting something creepy can be more scary that actually seeing it).

Things get more mysterious and spooky: one night Barbara wakes up...and HEARS a man screaming with pain!! Then a tragic death occurs in the mansion and you hide under the covers...and the end is really shocking...

I really enjoyed watching this movie, even when it has some major plot holes (if I tell you about them, I'd spoil  the end). But because there are so many things going on, you don't think that are way more logical ways to behave in such circumstances.

It was great to see Flynn in this role, apparently a charming bad guy, a guy you get to fear because of the whole background information you get about him. I found myself thinking about the way he delivers some long explanations, making you really interested in what he's saying.

And Barbara becomes kind of a Nancy Drew, detective, and she's super agile and fearless ("Fear is stupid" she explains) and clever and rides horses very fast and deals with Flynn without making him know about her suspicions. The scenes in which she investigates are engaging and tense and you root for her and want to know what the hell is really going on in that lab.

This is a fun movie with interesting performances if you can forgive some plot holes. Recommended to watch at night. 


  1. I also found this one fun when I watched it a few weeks ago, despite the plot holes! Really nice mood. I felt at the time that if I rewatch it in the future, I might see Flynn's character more as a tortured "Mr. Rochester" (JANE EYRE) type hero the second time around, knowing the full story. He's fun to watch! And I liked Barbara's spunky "Nancy Drew" type heroine.

    Best wishes,

  2. Laura, thanks for stopping by! yeah, this is really entertaining, I don't know why I haven't heard more about it. And, yes, you're right, after knowing the truth this needs a second watch!!

  3. 'Cry Wolf' sounds like a movie that I would love! I'll have to check it out!

  4. Yeah, Kalli, I really enjoyed it, very entertaining :) Thanks for visiting!!

  5. Sooo... please tell me (you can dm me on Twitter if you need to!) does it have a good ending?

  6. Sent you a DM on Twitter :) But the ending is OK :)

  7. Clara, I enjoyed your review of CRY WOLF, and I admire that you didn't give away the ending (But can you DM it to me like you did to Emma? :-)) As a writer myself, I'm the first to agree that "Show, don't tell" is the best way to go, especially when it comes to suspense thrillers. But thanks to your review, "Fear is stupid" just might become another one of my favorite sayings! :-)

  8. Thanks for your kind comments, DorianTB! I think that the formula "show, don't tell" applies for writing; well, you are a writer, so you know that is better to explain why something is this or that instead that just saying it. BUT, in movies, you should work with people's minds, suggesting things is more scary than showing them; that's why I reversed the phrase to "tell, don't show" :)

    And yes, isn't that phrase about fear great? But Barbara DID look scared at some points, LOL!

    I'll describe the ending via DM, but I won't tell it, you should check this film!



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