Browse all reviews by letter     A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 - 9

USA 1949
Directed by
Max Ophuls
88 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars


Max Ophuls is well-known as a director of "women's" films and Caught fits this profile nicely although it is one of his lesser works. The woman in question is Leonora Eames (Barbara Bel Geddes) who is encouraged by her fashion model roommate (Ruth Brady) to attend charm school so that she can marry someone rich. No sooner has she completed the course than she meets cruel playboy businessman Smith Ohlrig (Robert Ryan) who in response to a taunt from his shrink marries her and keeps her sequestered in his soulless Long Island mansion. Leonora eventually walks out on this situation and gets a job as a receptionist in a Lower East Side doctor's office shared by a couple of dedicated medicos including the handsome Dr. Larry Quinada (James Mason). The rest of the plot, taken from the novel Wild Calendar by Libbie Block, is more or less predictable as the obsessively possessive Ohlrig refuses to accept her independence and charms her into returning.

Although Ophuls' direction makes the film watchable, but with its stereotypical opposition between the wicked Ohlrig and the kindly Quinada it is far too schematic to carry much dramatic effect, Bel Geddes being particularly unconvincing as the woman caught by her own social-climbing aspirations.

FYI: The character of the sociopathic Ohlrig was apparently based on that of Howard Hughes who was studio boss of RKO where Ophuls initially worked after fleeing Nazi-occupied France in 1942.




Want something different?

random vintage best worst