“Cause for Alarm!” is a film noir released in 1951, directed by Tay Garnett and starring Loretta Young and Barry Sullivan. The film follows the story of a woman named Ellen Jones (played by Young), who becomes increasingly paranoid after her husband George (played by Sullivan) is diagnosed with a heart condition and dies suddenly.
Ellen becomes convinced that her husband’s doctor, Dr. Ranney (played by Bruce Cowling), is responsible for her husband’s death and is now trying to harm her as well. She writes a letter to the district attorney accusing Dr. Ranney of murder, but her plan backfires when her husband’s friend and colleague, Lieutenant Ed Cullen (played by Charles Drake), becomes suspicious of her behavior.
As the investigation unfolds, it becomes clear that Ellen’s accusations are unfounded and that she is suffering from a severe case of paranoia. Her mental state continues to deteriorate, leading to a dramatic confrontation with Lt. Cullen.
The film explores themes of grief, paranoia, and the dangers of jumping to conclusions without evidence. It also highlights the pressures faced by women in the 1950s, particularly the pressure to conform to traditional gender roles and the stigma surrounding mental illness.
Overall, “Cause for Alarm!” is a gripping and suspenseful film that delves into the darker aspects of the human psyche, while also highlighting the importance of seeking help and support when struggling with mental health issues.
Mel Dinelli, Tom Lewis, Lawrence B. Marcus
Loretta Young, Barry Sullivan, Bruce Cowling