The Man Who Reclaimed His Head (1935)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 82 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This truly offbeat filmization of Jean Bart's stage drama The Man Who Reclaimed His Head has been misleadingly released to TV as part of the "Shock Theater" package, even though the film is more melancholy than horrific. At the height of WW I, the trembling, near-lunatic Paul Verin (Claude Rains) arrives at police headquarters, carrying an ominously heavy handbag. Before revealing the bag's gruesome contents, he relates his tragic story in flashback. At one time a promising writer, Verin was married to the beautiful and ambitious Adele (Joan Bennett), who pushed and prodded him to advance himself. Accordingly, he sold his "head" -- that is, his integrity -- to powerful publisher Henri Dumont (Lionel Atwill), ghostwriting Dumont's anti-war editorials. By the time he realized that the hypocritical Dumont had himself sold out to the pro-war business interests, Verin had lost his wife and child to the scheming publisher. Driven mad on the battlefield, he made his way back to Dumont's mansion, exacting a horrible but appropriate revenge (hence the film's title). The Man Who Reclaimed His Head was remade in 1945 as Strange Confession -- with the pacifist angle completely removed!

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Keywords

anti-war, career, conviction, head [body part], rain