This belongs on the must see list. Edward G.Robinson is terrific as a farmer obsessed with the nearby woods and a red house within. He even hires someone to patrol them and keep everyone out. Judith Anderson is very good as his sister. It’s also a chance to see twenty year old Julie London play a sexy high school senior before she became a singing superstar.
Pete Morgan (Edward G.Robinson) lives on a rural farm with his sister Ellen (Judith Anderson) and their adopted daughter Meg (Allene Roberts). She’s their niece and they adopted her when she was a baby. Her parents died after they moved out of town. Pete is obsessed with her.
Thanks to Meg, Pete hires student Nath (Lon McCallister) to help out on the farm. Pete has a wooden leg and could use some assistance. Pete warns him not to take a short cut home through the woods. He says there are screams in the night that come from a red house. Nath gos anyway. The wind kicks up and Nath thinks he hears screams. He panics and runs back, just like Pete thought he would. Nath was knocked into a creek and he thinks maybe Pete was the one who clubbed him. It wasn’t.
The next day Nath, Meg and Tibby (Julie London), Pete’s girlfriend go exploring. Pete is enraged that Meg went into the woods and he’s not too happy about Meg’s feelings about Nath. Tibby isn’t happy with Nath for spending the night at the Morgan farm instead of being home to take her phone call. Patrolling the woods is Teller (Rory Calhoun). He freely admits to slugging Nath and Pete says even if he has to use his rifle to scare him away…use it.
Meg goes exploring and finds the red house. Teller spots her and fires six shits to scare her away. She runs, falls and breaks her leg. That night Nath discovers she hasn’t been back home and looks for her and finds her. That night Nath sneaks into her room. Looks like Tibby has something to worry about. She’s not adversed to fooling around and has some moments with Teller.
Pete hears a noise and goes upstairs to Meg’s room. He acts weird and calls her by a different name. He goes out to the barn and tells Nath he knows he was in Meg’s room. He freely admits it. Pete tells him to get out…now. He ends up working at Tibby’s farm.
Things at the Morgans’ are getting nasty.
There’s a lot more to come and it’s impossible to keep your attention off of Robinson. This movie is pretty easy to find. If you’re looking for a 40’s classic, here it is.