Shock (1946)

shock poster 1946 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Decent story

So-so execution of story

Movie Info

Movie Name: Shock

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Genre(s): Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s): January 10, 1946 (Premiere)/February 1, 1946 (US)

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

shock anabel shaw sees murder

Well…that teaches me to snoop on neighbors

Janet Stewart (Anabel Shaw) is about to reunited with her husband Lt. Paul Stewart (Frank Latimore) after believing him killed in action for years.  While waiting for him at their hotel, Janet sees something too horrible for her mind to comprehend, and she is left in a state of shock.  Stewart and the doctors turn to Dr. Richard Cross (Vincent Price) and his assistant Elaine Jordan (Lynn Bari) who is an expert in the field…but Dr. Cross might have more knowledge about Janet’s shock than anyone expects!

Directed by Alfred L. Werker, Shock is a suspense thriller.  The movie received mixed reviews and is in the public domain.

Shock came to me by way of a multi-movie pack.  The film seemed rather bland and generic in description, but free-is-free and watching Shock seemed like a quick way to pass the times.  It is pretty cliché and some sketchy psychology, but it is always fun to have a Vincent Price movie.

shock vincent price anabel shaw lynn bari

Hey, lady…here’s my subliminal suggestion…you didn’t see me

The story is a bit Rear Window meets almost factitious disorder by proxy.  After seeing Cross murdering his wife, Janet cracks…and much of the movie is Cross and Jordan keeping Stewart ill through medical manipulation and gaslighting.  The movie could be a lot darker and would be darker today…and it ends rather rosy (essentially) with everything working out.

Vincent Price is quite young in this and it is interesting to see him as a leading romantic lead.  Years of horror movies and mad scientists make him suspect, but as a newer actor for audiences, it probably wasn’t as jarring.  Lynn Bari plays the almost Lady Macbeth character that pushes Price’s beyond reason and eventually pays for it.  The movie is largely about these two characters, and Anabel Shaw and Frank Latimore almost take a backseat despite kind of being the lead.

shock vincent price lynn bari

Hey, guy…you know you want to murder more

The movie is low budget and looks it.  The locations are largely sets and generic ones at that.  Public domain movies often can be in abominable shape but there are some decent copies of Shock floating around (probably due to Price’s popularity).

The fortunate thing about these older movies is that they are generally short.  Shock is like watching an extended episode of Law & Order and it has about the same lack of surprise by the end.  Law & Order almost always gets their man, and you know watching Shock how the movie is going to end (and the movie does little to surprise you)…you just have to decide if the path is worth walking.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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