The story of a desperate girl!
It was her childhood dream come true. She had married a man worth millions. But her innocent dream became a tormented nightmare once she realized the truth about her husband. He was more than a millionaire, he was absolutely insane!
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Very dark and architecturally directed Ophuls melodrama about a love triangle between a woman, a doctor and a flithy rich movie producer.
The third of Ophuls' American films that I have seen, and if not quite the equal of LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN or THE RECKLESS MOMENT, this is still great melodrama, shot masterfully and with a truly radical happy ending.
I saw a bumper sticker the other day that read "Trust Women"...
I'm a bit pedantic when it comes to noir, I don't want borderline noirs, or genre mashups. This one is definitely not a noir as I want them, but that doesn't make it a bad movie. Not at all. Robert Ryan is always watchable, in my mind the embodiment of a bad guy. Here he's what some have likened to a Howard Hughes megalomaniac, who treats people as a commodity, even his wife. In other words, Ophüls uses Ryan's character to have a dig at capitalism. Brave for such an early film. To top if off Bel Geddes and Mason have fine chemistry.
The ending is a bit "meh"...
"A woman marries a millionaire businessman only to find that money doesn't make her happy. I didn't believe in the marriage or the performances of the cast in this unlikely story."
A bit too tidy in the wrap up of the plot, perhaps, and somewhat reductive in its psychology. The performances are good but Bel Geddes is better at playing naïve than in the more dramatic scenes towards the end. The camera moves are interesting; some of Ophül's stylistic choices make a lot of sense (the dance), others come off as unmotivated (conversation across a desk). A decent drama.
My introduction to films of Max Ophüls and now I want to see more.
Caught is a very effective, subtle and mature melodrama. While shot like a film-noir picture I would hesitate to call it a true noir, but that's not really important. What's important is that it's a very moody film with a great cast, nice tension and with an interesting and, dare I say, brave look on capitalism.
Ophuls translates his historical romance fantasies onto contemporary America in this acid woman's picture that takes marrying rich as an excuse to take the shine off of the American dream. It moves like a thriller, the atmosphere just gets thicker, and the performances enrich a shallow love triangle. Every frame is swimming with information, spoken and un-, and the way the plot counters Barbara Bel Geddes' charm school (disguising inner self) with Robert Ryan's psychoanalysis (voicing it) presages the ensuing battle.
But more than that, the form is unimpeachable, every bit the equal of Letter from an Unknown Woman and The Earrings of Madame De.... Space and size illustrate relationships, ornamentation reflects character (especially in the low-rent apartment that opens the picture), Ophuls' specialty tracking is lower-key but more relentless than romantic. I'm still in a post-viewing daze, but Caught is so good, so perceptive and lush, that it makes former models look like carhops.