The Accused (1948)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Drama, Crime Drama, Film Noir  |   Release Date - Jan 14, 1949 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 101 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

A nifty little psychological thriller, The Accused may seem a bit dated to modern day viewers, but it still has enough punch to be worth watching. Although it sags slightly in the middle, the end sections are terrific, and even the slight mispacing in the middle is mild and hardly worth mentioning. William Dieterle's smooth and assured direction highlights the tension at every turn and also takes time to get into the psyches of the characters, especially the tortured murderess-heroine whose efforts to fight her overwhelming guilt are driving her crazy. The psychology employed will seem a tad quaint nowadays, and the equation of "career woman" with "dull and lonely" will likewise be off-putting, but Accused manages to be effective despite this. The cast helps enormously, with the always-gorgeous Loretta Young holding onto the audience's sympathy throughout; we all know Young isn't a murderess, not at heart, and so are willing to not only forgive her for the circumstances which drive her to the act but to ache for all of her suffering. Robert Cummings is good as her ultimate love interest, but even better is Wendell Corey, whose icy performance as the detective out to get his woman is quite memorable. In a smaller role, Sam Jaffe shines as a police scientist whose callous attitude toward humanity strikes home.