The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry

(Robert Siodmak, 1945)




"I'm sorry, that's the way things are", is the leitmotiv of The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, directed by Robert Siodmak, a German who became an American citizen.

Rarely has a story been so severe with its characters, demonstrating that once and for all, cruelty is truly a cinematic sentiment.




What is it about? Harry, in his late thirties, lives with his two sisters in a large house. One day, a pretty, single, free-spirited girl arrives. They fall in love, but suddenly the dog is poisoned. And voilà, we’re off for an amoral thriller that doesn't bother with politeness. Energetic, Siodmak works on surprises with a formidable choice of actors. Harry, to start with, is played by the delicious Englishman George Sanders. Used to roles of sophisticated bastards, here, he is a totally guileless and manipulated Harry for a change! But the craziest character is Lettie, Harry's possessive and conniving sister. She is played by Geraldine Fitzgerald, who is gorgeous and witty, and thus all the more dangerous. An unusual idea when you think of the number of frustrated and devilishly intelligent characters played by ugly and aged actors or actresses. Lit in a shade of grey that tends towards the very dark, impeccable for a film noir, The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry lives up to its title and maintains suspense and surprises until the end.


Virginie Apiou



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