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Beware, My Lovely

Beware, My Lovely is a 1952 film noir crime film directed by Harry Horner starring Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan and Taylor Holmes. the film is based on the 1950 play The Man by Mel Dinelli who also wrote the screenplay.

Beware, My Lovely
Beware, My Lovely movie poster.jpg
Movie poster
Directed byHarry Horner
Produced byCollier Young for The Filmakers[1]
Written byMel Dinelli
Based onThe Man
by Mel Dinelli
StarringIda Lupino
Robert Ryan
Taylor Holmes
Music byLeith Stevens
CinematographyGeorge E. Diskant
Edited byPaul Weatherwax
The Filmakers
Distributed byRKO Radio Pictures
Release date
  • August 29, 1952 (1952-08-29) (United States)
Running time
77 minutes
CountryUnited States


The film is set in December, 1918 in an unnamed small town. A widow (Lupino) impulsively hires handyman (Ryan) to look after her house. She soon learns Ryan is a dangerous schizophrenic, but by the time she comes to this realization she is unable to leave her house and escape from him.


The cast includes the following:[1]

Actor Role
Ida Lupino Mrs. Helen Gordon
Robert Ryan Howard Wilton
Taylor Holmes Mr. Walter Armstrong
Barbara Whiting Ruth Williams
James Willmas Mr. Stevens
O. Z. Whitehead Mr. Franks

Production notesEdit

The play on which the film is based, The Man, was originally a short story by Mel Dinelli. Dinelli adapted the story for the stage.[2] It debuted on Broadway in January 1950 starring Dorothy Gish.[3] The story was also featured on the CBS radio show Suspense as "To Find Help" on January 18, 1945 with Frank Sinatra as Howard and Agnes Moorehead as Mrs. Gillis (Mrs. Gordon in the film). It was dramatized again on Suspense in 1949 with Gene Kelly and Ethel Barrymore on January 6, 1949.[4]

The movie was shot over an 18-day period in 1951 for Collier Young and Ida Lupino's production company, The Filmakers. Howard Hughes, then the head of RKO Pictures, withheld the film from release for a year. Co-star Robert Ryan later said that he felt Hughes tried to "bury" the film because Ryan was active in left-wing politics and spoke publicly about his involvement.[5]


According to Bosley Crowther, the film is a "straight tour-de-force situation, clearly contrived and designed for no other positive purpose than to send shivers chasing up and down the spine. And in that respectable endeavor, its success will depend entirely upon how susceptible you are to illogic and little tricks of looming shadows and clutching hands."[1]

Related worksEdit

Earlier that year, Lupino and Ryan co-starred in On Dangerous Ground, a film noir directed by Nicholas Ray and produced by John Houseman.

The story was the basis for a 1960 episode of the TV anthology Startime, with Audie Murphy and Thelma Ritter.


  1. ^ a b c Crowther, Bosley (September 13, 1952). "Ida Lupino and Robert Ryan Seen in Beware, My Lovely, New Film at the Palace". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
  2. ^ Hirsch, Foster (2008). The Dark Side of the Screen: Film Noir. Da Capo Press. p. 233. ISBN 0-306-81772-1.
  3. ^ Miller, Gabriel (2000). The Films of Martin Ritt: Fanfare for the Common Man. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 92. ISBN 1-617-03496-7.
  4. ^ Johnson, Kevin (2009). The Dark Page II: Books That Inspired American Film Noir, (1950-1965). Oak Knoll Press. p. 42. ISBN 1-584-56259-5.
  5. ^ Nixon, Rob. "Beware My Lovely". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2012-07-06.

External linksEdit