When Strangers Marry (1944)

67 mins | Mystery | 24 November 1944

Director:

William Castle

Producers:

Maurice King, Frank King

Cinematographer:

Ira Morgan

Editor:

Martin G. Cohn

Production Designer:

F. Paul Sylos

Production Company:

King Bros. Productions
Full page view
HISTORY

The working title of this film was I Married a Stranger . The film was reissued in 1949 under the title Betrayed , which was the title on the viewed print. In a scene in the film in which "Lt. Blake" shows "Fred Graham" some slides related to a murder case he once solved, a photograph of character actor Byron Foulger is shown as "Albert Foster." Foulger did not appear elsewhere in the film. According to a news item in HR , Paul Kelly was originally to have played the male lead. Although HR production charts and news items add Janie Mattman and Mary Field to the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. When Strangers Marry was one of the first films in which Robert Mitchum portrayed a menacing character, a type of role that he became known for in later ... More Less

The working title of this film was I Married a Stranger . The film was reissued in 1949 under the title Betrayed , which was the title on the viewed print. In a scene in the film in which "Lt. Blake" shows "Fred Graham" some slides related to a murder case he once solved, a photograph of character actor Byron Foulger is shown as "Albert Foster." Foulger did not appear elsewhere in the film. According to a news item in HR , Paul Kelly was originally to have played the male lead. Although HR production charts and news items add Janie Mattman and Mary Field to the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. When Strangers Marry was one of the first films in which Robert Mitchum portrayed a menacing character, a type of role that he became known for in later films. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
19 Aug 1944.
---
Daily Variety
9 Aug 44
p. 6.
Film Daily
21 Sep 44
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
12 May 44
p. 21.
Hollywood Reporter
19 May 44
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
26 May 44
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jun 44
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Aug 44
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
1 Jul 44
p. 1971.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
19 Aug 44
p. 2053.
San Francisco Chronicle
2 Nov 1944.
---
Variety
22 Nov 44
p. 10.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
I Married a Stranger
Release Date:
24 November 1944
Premiere Information:
San Francisco opening: week of 2 November 1944
Brooklyn, NY opening: week of 16 November 1944
Production Date:
late May--early June 1944
Copyright Claimant:
Monogram Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
19 August 1944
Copyright Number:
LP12838
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
67
Length(in feet):
6,036
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
10224
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

At the Philadelphia Hotel bar, Sam Prescott, a loquacious drunk, drops a fistful of cash and then brags that he always carries at least $10,000. After a man in a hat stoops to help Prescott pick up his cash, the bartender mentions to Prescott that the man has been unable to procure a room. Prescott generously offers to share his, and the next morning, the hotel maid discovers Prescott's dead body when she comes to clean his room. On a train bound for New York, meanwhile, Millie Baxter accidentally enters a compartment occupied by a middle-aged couple. Millie blurts out the news that she has just wed, and states that she married her husband, a salesman who was abruptly called away on business, after just three dates. Extracting a telegram from her pocket, Millie studies the message sent from Philadelphia by her husband Paul, directing her to meet him at the Sherwin Hotel the next day. Upon reaching New York, Millie eagerly proceeds to the hotel and there learns that her husband has not yet arrived. In the lobby, she meets Fred Graham, an old beau, who asks Millie whether she received the letter he sent her. Millie replies she has not, and informs the crestfallen Fred of her recent marriage. Later, Charlie, the desk clerk, reads a newspaper account about Prescott's murder, which has been dubbed the "Silk Stocking Murder" because the killer used a silk stocking to strangle his victim. When Paul fails to arrive that night, Millie becomes worried. The following morning, she confides her concern to Fred, who offers to accompany her to the police station ... +


At the Philadelphia Hotel bar, Sam Prescott, a loquacious drunk, drops a fistful of cash and then brags that he always carries at least $10,000. After a man in a hat stoops to help Prescott pick up his cash, the bartender mentions to Prescott that the man has been unable to procure a room. Prescott generously offers to share his, and the next morning, the hotel maid discovers Prescott's dead body when she comes to clean his room. On a train bound for New York, meanwhile, Millie Baxter accidentally enters a compartment occupied by a middle-aged couple. Millie blurts out the news that she has just wed, and states that she married her husband, a salesman who was abruptly called away on business, after just three dates. Extracting a telegram from her pocket, Millie studies the message sent from Philadelphia by her husband Paul, directing her to meet him at the Sherwin Hotel the next day. Upon reaching New York, Millie eagerly proceeds to the hotel and there learns that her husband has not yet arrived. In the lobby, she meets Fred Graham, an old beau, who asks Millie whether she received the letter he sent her. Millie replies she has not, and informs the crestfallen Fred of her recent marriage. Later, Charlie, the desk clerk, reads a newspaper account about Prescott's murder, which has been dubbed the "Silk Stocking Murder" because the killer used a silk stocking to strangle his victim. When Paul fails to arrive that night, Millie becomes worried. The following morning, she confides her concern to Fred, who offers to accompany her to the police station to file a missing persons report. At the station, Fred directs Millie to the desk of Lt. Blake, a homicide detective. Blake becomes intrigued when Millie shows him Paul's telegram from Philadelphia and decides to pursue the investigation. Fred then escorts Millie back to her hotel room, and when she receives a phone call from Paul, directing her to a street corner, she hurries to meet him there. Just as Millie recognizes the back of Paul's hat-bearing head, Fred catches up to her, and by the time she has turned back around, Paul has gone. Later, at the hotel, Fred learns from the desk clerk that Millie has checked out after receiving another phone call. Millie, meanwhile, proceeds to an apartment building and finds Paul seated in a darkened room. When Millie questions Paul about his odd behavior, he tries to reassure her, but later, he overhears a neighbor discussing the Silk Stocking Murder and abruptly departs. At headquarters, meanwhile, Blake questions the Philadelphia Hotel bartender about the night of the murder and the man recalls that the stranger at the bar was carrying a suitcase bearing a tag from the Sherwin Hotel. Continuing his investigation, Blake summons Fred to his office for questioning. After leaving Blake's office, Fred encounters Millie in the hallway and warns her that the police suspect Paul of murder. When Millie tells Fred that Paul is employed by the Anderson shirt company, Fred volunteers to visit Paul's employer. That night, Millie begs Paul to let her accompany him on his sales route to Philadelphia. After Paul denies that Philadelphia is on his route, Millie becomes suspicious and phones Fred to inquire what he discovered at the shirt company. When Fred informs her that Paul quit his job after a sales trip to Philadelphia, Millie becomes distraught and leaves the apartment, pacing the street until she comes to a newstand. In a Philadelphia paper, Millie reads that the Silk Stocking suspect has been traced to New York. Later, Millie meets Fred at a soda counter and confides her fears about her husband. When she states that she intends to confront Paul, Fred asks for her phone number and address so that he can ensure her safety. At the apartment, Millie finds a taciturn Paul grimly packing his suitcase. Declaring that he is leaving, Paul strides into the hallway, bag in hand, just as Blake arrives to question Millie. Paul hides in the stairwell as Blake enters the apartment to ask Millie for a photo of her husband. Millie takes a photo of a stranger from the mantelpiece, and hands it to Blake, claiming that it is Paul. After Blake leaves, Paul returns to the apartment. When Millie voices her concern, Paul, astounded by her loyalty, agrees to meet her later that night. After renting a room in a seamy area of the city, Millie sneaks Paul in the back door. There, after recalling the fateful night of the murder, Paul admits to being tempted by Prescott's money but denies killing him for it. Just then, Blake, alerted by the landlady's child, appears at the doorway to arrest Paul. Millie then returns to the Sherwin hotel and the desk clerk hands her Fred's letter, which had been forwarded from her home town. Meeting Fred on the hotel's roof garden, Millie opens the letter and sees that it is written on letterhead from the Philadelphia Hotel. As Fred fixes her with a sinister gaze, Millie reads his marriage proposal and his promise of a gift of silk stockings. Finally realizing that Fred is the murderer, Millie turns to face him just as he is about to push her over the ledge. Fleeing from the roof, Millie hurries to Blake with her suspicions. Although skeptical, Blake goes to the hotel to question Fred. Fred, meanwhile, is sealing a self-addressed envelope, stuffed with Prescott's money, when Blake knocks at his door. The two step into the hallway, and Fred covertly drops the envelope into the mail slot. As the hour of ten approaches, Blake notices that Fred is becoming more and more agitated. Reading on the mail slot that the next pickup is at ten, Blake runs downstairs to stop the mail carrier. As they search through the letters, Fred's envelope, which had been stuck in the chute, falls to the ground, spilling its contents. With Fred's arrest for murder, Paul, now exonerated, boards a honeymoon train with Millie. After they are settled in their compartment, a newlywed bursts in and asks to join them. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.