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The Locket

THE LOCKET
DVD region 0. Odeon.

The Locket is a curious puzzle of a film – peeling away layers of the story, the film opens with Gene Raymond confronted on his wedding day by Brian Aherene, who tells him a long-winded and convoluted story about his bride-to-be, Nancy (Laraine Day). In a series of flashback within flashbacks, we discover that Nancy is a compulsive kleptomaniac, and possibly a murderer, who has destroyed the lives of various men, including Robert Mitchum as an artist who falls under her spell, only to realise that she is not who she seems to be.

Made in 1946, The Locket is very much of its time, mixing melodrama with psychological mystery (as Hitchcock did rather more successfully in films like Spellbound and Rebecca) as it examines the effect of a childhood trauma on the disturbed Nancy. The multi-flashback format – with the story effectively being told third or even fourth hand at times – is an interesting gimmick, but it does rather cause the film to drag somewhat, and the story takes forever to get anywhere.

Performances are good – most notably Mitchum as the cynical artist – and John Brahm’s direction is solid, keeping his complicated story on track. But the film simply isn’t interesting enough to hold the attention, and by the final revelation of the truth, most viewers are likely to have stopped caring.

DAVID FLINT

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