Fritz Lang produced and directed this one based on a story by mystery writer Rufus King. It’s supposed to be a romantic psychological thriller but turns out to be a big disappointment.
Celia (Joan Bennett) is single and her older brother thinks she should consider meeting an eligible bachelor getting married. When he dies she inherits some big bucks. A lawyer her brother introduced her to, Bob Dwight, handles the trust fund and would like to handle her. She says she has to go away for a while and leaves for Mexico with her friends Edith Potter (Natalie Schafer) and her husband. She tells Bob they can talk marriage when she returns.
In Mexico she becomes attracted to architect Mark Lamphere (Michael Redgrave) and ends up marrying him. They go back to Mexico on their honeymoon. One night she locks their room door as a joke and Mark can’t get in. He denies he was at the door. He says he received a telegram and has to go home to see a buyer about selling his failing magazine.
Celia discovers there wasn’t any telegram. Then she cheers up when she gets a note from him telling her to meet him back home in Levender Falls, New York. She’s met at the train station by his sister Carrie. He’s still in New York City and she has some surprises waiting for her at the house.
One of them is Mark’s young son David. She never knew he was married before. David is stand offish but agrees to be friendly. Also in the house is Mark’s secretary Mrs.Robey. She wears a scarf to cover one side of her face. She was burned in a fire while rescuing David when he was only four.
Finally Mark returns and she meets him at the train station. He says he has to get to the bank and he’ll see her later. Celia almost decides to leave for good but hangs in there.
A big party is thrown at the house. Mark has a theory that a room can have a decided effect on anyone in it. He gives a tour of rooms that he’s collected. These are not recreations. They are actual rooms he had brought over from overseas. A murder was committed in each one. Room number seven is kept locked. He refuses to open it and won’t say anything about it.
Celia walks in on an argument between Mark and David. Mark storms out and David tells her not to interfere with them and tells her Mark killed his mother. Curious about the locked room she wants to make a wax impression of the key that Mark left on a table. She also finds out a secret Mrs.Robey has been keeping for years from Mark.
The last third tries for suspense but just ends up a bore. There are some nice visuals but the resolution is lame and the whole thing, despite all those connected with it, is a big waste of time.
TV fans know Natalie Schafer as Mrs.Howell on “Gilligan’s Island” (1964-67).