When Strangers Marry
|When Strangers Marry aka Betrayed|
|Directed by||William Castle|
|Screenplay by||Philip Yordan|
Dennis J. Cooper
|Story by||George Moskov|
|Produced by||Frank King|
|Cinematography||Ira H. Morgan|
|Edited by||Martin G. Cohn|
|Music by||Dimitri Tiomkin|
King Brothers Productions
|Distributed by||Monogram Pictures|
|Budget||$75,000 or $50,000|
Millie Baxter, a naive woman, comes to New York City to meet her salesman husband Paul whom she only met months before, and discovers that he may be a murderer.
The film was originally known as Love from a Stranger then I Married a Stranger.
Director William Castle was under contract to Columbia Pictures. The King Brothers liked a film he had made, The Whistler, and borrowed him from the studio for $500 a week (Castle was being paid $100 a week). Castle says the script they originally offered him was "horrible", the story of a gangster who is killed, rejected from Heaven and sent back to earth. Castle had made a movie from a script he disliked, Chance of a Lifetime and did not want to repeat the experience, so told the King Brothers they should not make the movie. The Kings, especially Frank agreed, and introduced Castle to the writer Philip Yordan. Castle says he and Yordan came up with the new story which the Kings liked. They had seven days and a budget of $50,000 to make it.
Rhonda Fleming made her film debut in a small role; she later claimed she was cast after being spotted by the director walking through the backlot. He said "you'll do" and put her in the film. She says she was not paid for her role.
It was an early film for Robert Mitchum who had previously made Johnny Doesn't Live Here Anymore for the King Brothers. The brothers later claimed they had the actor under a multi-picture contract and tried to enforce it but he made no further films for the brothers.
When the film was released, Variety's review was positive, writing, "Only thing wrong with this film is its misleading title. Tag, When Strangers Marry, suggests another of the problem plays of newlyweds when in reality pic is a taught (sic) psychological thriller about a murderer and a manhunt full of suspense and excitement."
Orson Welles wrote a contemporary review of the film which said , "It isn't as slick as Double Indemnity or as glossy as Laura, but it's better acted and better directed ... than either." (He and Castle later worked together on The Lady from Shanghai).
James Agee later wrote "The story has locomotor ataxia at several of its joints and the intensity of the telling slackens off toward the end; but taking it as a whole, I have seldom, for years now, seen one hour so energetically and sensibly used in a film".
Castle was going to direct Dillinger for the King Bros but instead accepted an offer to do a Broadway play Meet a Body.
- Hedda Hopper: LOOKING AT HOLLYWOOD Los Angeles Times 8 Oct 1946: A3.
- Castle p 83
- When Strangers Marry at the TCM Movie Database.
- When Strangers Marry Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 12, Iss. 133, (Jan 1, 1945): 22.
- Castle p 80-85
- McGilligan, Patrick. Backstory 2: Interviews with Screenwriters of the 1940s and 1950s. Berkeley: University of California Press, c1991. http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft0z09n7m0/
- SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: Warners Will Remake 'Sweet Adeline' -- 'Attack!', Army Film, Due Next Month Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES 16 May 1944: 18.
- Rhonda Fleming... Lucky Star!: RHONDA FLEMING Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune 15 June 1952: g6.
- Controversy Looms Over Robert Mitchum Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 17 Oct 1946: A3.
- Variety, film review, 1943. Accessed: July 6, 2013.
- Callow, Simon (2006), Orson Welles: Hello Americans, Jonathan Cape, ISBN 978-0-224-03853-9, OCLC 63185891
- Grant Takes KMPC for New Contract; Cotten Hosts'On Trial' Series Ames, Walter. Los Angeles Times 13 Apr 1956: B6.
- Castle p 85
- Castle, William (1976). Step right up! : ... I'm gonna scare the pants off America. Putnam.