The Unguarded Moment (1956)

the unguarded moment 1956

A pleasant surprise. I wasn’t expecting much and when it started I was expecting even less. Turns out this is a good one about a high school teacher harassed by a student and things get way out of control. Esther Williams doesn’t get near a pool and plays a music teacher. The closing credits say “Introducing a new personality-John Saxon.” He went on to star in dozens of movies and TV shows and remains active. The acting highlight is Edward Andrews. He’s known for his comedic roles but his dramatic turn here is well worth seeing. Jack Albertson has a bit part as a teacher. The story was co-written by actress Rosalind Russell.

Someone is sending music teacher Lois Conway (Esther Williams) mash notes and she sick of it. She confronts the school band and says whoever is doing it has gone too far and must stop.

At the local malt shop football hero and all around jock jerk Leonard Bennett (John Saxon) is with some friends when his father (Edward Andrews) comes in and reminds him about getting home and other overly possessive things. He waits for him at the counter. Lois is there and he bends her ear about how great Leonard is.

Lois gets another note. This one says to meet her that night in the stadium locker room. She goes. Someone puts a flashlight in her face and she can’t see who it is. He attacks. She manages to break away. A patrol car is driving by with Lt.Harry Graham (George Nader).

He takes her to the station. She says whoever attacked her is just a kid and needs help. She dropped her purse in the locker room. Harry sends a policemen home with her to pick her front door lock since her keys were in it. Once inside she sees the purse on a table. She turns out the light and tells whoever is there to run out. He does. In the headlights of passing cars she recognizes him. It’s Leonard.

Leonard sneaks into his room through an open window. His father comes in and doesn’t know he had been gone. He starts talking about how his wide left them when Leonard was a baby and how rotten women are. He says if Leonard does anything to ruin the plans he has for him he’ll break every bone in his body.

Lois tells school principal Pendelton (Les Tremayne) about Leonard. Leonard denies it all and Pendelton wants to protect the star athlete, especially because tomorrow is the big game. Leonard starts spreading rumors about Lois among the students. One student is her favorite and gets in a fight with another. His nose is bleeding and she takes him into an empty classroom to recover. Pendelton walks in and tells her it doesn’t look good for her to be alone with a student.

Later she has a talk with Leonard. He tells her there’s not room enough in the school for both of them, Harry thinks Leonard may be responsible for the murder of a woman and wants Lois to stop feeling sorry for him. That night she tries talking with Mr.Bennett but he accuses her of seducing her son.

Harry goes into Leonard’s locker and gets some fingerprints. They match the ones on Lois’ table at home. At the school dance she warns Leonard about the prints. He asks her to go to the locker room for a private talk. It’s a set up. Pendelton and Mr.Bennett are waiting. Lois has had it and asks Harry to arrest him. The Bennett family lawyer Briggs (Edward Platt) can’t get him out because it’s Sunday and no judge is available to sign a habeas corpus. Pendelton suspends Lois. By this time she and Harry have hooked up. Mr.Bennett is watching.

Some good suspense to come in a movie well worth searching out.

Edward Andrews

Edward Andrews





About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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