Watch The Unguarded Hour
- 1 hr 26 min
The Unguarded Hour is a 1936 American crime drama film directed by Sam Wood and starring Loretta Young, Franchot Tone, and Lewis Stone. The film revolves around Lady Helen Dearden, who is happily married to a respected London barrister, Sir Alan Dearden. However, her life takes a dramatic turn when she is blackmailed by a former criminal acquaintance named Van Luden, who threatens to reveal her involvement in a hit-and-run accident years ago.
Despite her attempts to keep her secret hidden, Lady Dearden is wracked with guilt and becomes increasingly desperate to keep Luden quiet. When Luden is murdered, Lady Dearden's situation worsens, and she finds herself embroiled in a dangerous game of cat and mouse with the police and Luden's accomplices.
The film is notable for its tense atmosphere and its excellent performances from its leads. Loretta Young shines as Lady Dearden, delivering a nuanced and engaging portrayal of a woman driven to the brink of despair by her guilty conscience. Franchot Tone is equally impressive as Sir Alan, providing a calming presence and a sense of stability in the midst of the turmoil surrounding his wife.
Lewis Stone is also excellent as Inspector Burke, the lone detective who suspects Lady Dearden's involvement in Luden's murder. Stone's portrayal of the determined and intelligent Burke adds an extra layer of tension to the film, as he relentlessly pursues the truth despite the social status of those involved.
The Unguarded Hour also boasts some impressive technical achievements, particularly in its use of shadow and light to create a sense of suspense and impending danger. The film's black-and-white cinematography is striking and effective, and the use of silhouettes and long shadows adds an extra layer of visual interest to the proceedings.
Although the film does have some moments of melodrama and moralizing, it is largely a well-paced and engaging thriller that keeps the audience guessing until the very end. The Unguarded Hour is a timeless classic that is as entertaining and gripping today as it was upon its release over 80 years ago.
Overall, the film is a superb showcase of the talents of its cast and crew, and a sterling example of the best that Hollywood had to offer in the mid-1930s. Fans of classic cinema and crime dramas will find much to admire in this thrilling tale of love, guilt, and desperation in the face of danger.
The Unguarded Hour is a 1936 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 26 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6.