I caught an interesting, albeit bizarre 1946 flick yesterday called “The Locket” By today’s standards the biggest name involved was Robert Mitchum, but at this stage of his career he’s 3rd billed behind Lorraine Day and Brian Ahern. IMDB classifies it as film noir but to me it’s more mystery/crime than true noir. I suppose that the one link that style would be the fact that it does have a femme fatale.
The movie opens just minutes before the wealthy John Willis is about to marry his “perfect girl", Nancy. He is summoned to his private study where a stranger introduces himself as Dr. Blair. He is a psychiatrist and is there to warn John that Nancy is mentally unbalanced. Then he unfurls the strange and sordid tale of her past transgressions.
Overall the movie seems part of the post-war film fashion of turning psychologists and psychiatrists into super doctors. Looking at it from today’s standards the medical science used seems comically wrong but you just need to suspend your disbelief and enjoy the ride.
The most remarkable thing to me about “The Locket”, is it’s use of flashback. As Dr. Blair tells John his story, the tale is done in flashback. In the midst of this he speaks of Mitchum’s character and we now digress into his flashback. During that portion a childhood incident is detailed, viewed again through flashback. Understand that this is ostensibly all during Dr. Blair’s flashback. Shades of the dreaming in “Inception”!
I’ve been purposely vague about the plot details as not to spoil anything, should you decide to see “The Locket” for yourself. At this stage of my life I have found myself appreciating the films of the 30’s & 40’s to a much higher degree and I think that the movie is a minor treasure.