Director: Michael Gordon
Well, it's still coming up on my birthday, and Jamie said "watch whatever, it's your b-day." And, with a Totter movie cleared we moved on to Ida Lupino. Well, friends, while it may have started pre-pandemic, Jamie has thrown in with the Ida Lupino Fan train the past year, for sure. So, this selection was saluted.
I'd not previously seen Woman in Hiding (1950), but picked it up cheap on BluRay, because: Lupino.
I will argue that the noir movement splintered into several familiar genres, from the erotic thriller to the Lifetime Network's basic movie programming. Film's with "women in peril" such as Sudden Fear and Beware, My Lovely - which definitely have precedents from the start of film found a home in the crime genres of the 1950's, doubling as "women's films" with plucky heroines (scared out of their minds) and some chisel-jawed dude who might come to the rescue. By the early 00's: I mean - have you seen the names of movies on the Lifetime Network?*
Woman in Hiding follows Ida Lupino playing the daughter of a wealthy mill-owner in small-town North Carolina. After the accidental death of her father, she marries the factory foreman, only to be met at their honeymoon cottage by a young woman informing Lupino "he was my man, he married you for the mill, and he probably killed your dad."
Freaked out, Lupino goes into HIDING (see - the title is accurate). Here she meets Howard Duff (whom she's marry the next year) and shenanigans ensue.
The film does contain a drinking game noir item - there's a convention in the hotel where they're staying.
The film co-stars the lovely Peggy Dow in one of her very few film roles - she was also in the film version of Harvey that same year - and she was out of movies by 1952. Which is a shame - she's great here and totally different from her character in Harvey.
It also stars "that guy" actor Taylor Holmes, as well as Don Beddoe.
This isn't my favorite Lupino role, but that's the script more than anything she's doing. But, man, when confronted by Dow's character with what her new husband of less than a day may have done - she's got a lot to do there and nails it.
Special nod on this one to cinematographer William H. Daniels. He manages to get in some great stuff, especially in the sequence on the stairwell, on the bus and in the finale sequence. Gorgeous looking noir stuff. And letting the drafts in the stairwell kick at Lupino's skirt of her dress was pretty great (and likely a happy accident).
*it's a parade of playing on paranoia re: domestic insecurity mixed with actual issues of domestic trauma, and it's a wild ride that Lifetime programs that shit 24/7 and then flips to "and now two months of movies about Santa being your boyfriend's dad".