The Shrike

  • 1955
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

The gross miscasting of lovable June Allyson as a manipulative woman sets this drama on its ear. A shrike is an innocuous-looking bird that sometimes impales its prey on thorns. The hit play adopted this image for its female lead character, a vicious person who manipulated her kowtowing husband to such a degree that he winds up in an insane asylum. Here...read more

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The gross miscasting of lovable June Allyson as a manipulative woman sets this drama on its ear. A shrike is an innocuous-looking bird that sometimes impales its prey on thorns. The hit play adopted this image for its female lead character, a vicious person who manipulated her kowtowing

husband to such a degree that he winds up in an insane asylum. Here the situation is soft-pedaled, so that Ferrer, as the husband, eventually does go into a mental ward, but more as a result of his own doing than because of Allyson's cruelty. In the picture's contrived happy end, Ferrer and

Allyson get back together in the hope of making their marriage work. Ferrer, who starred in the play and directed it, does the same here, making his debut as a movie director. The play won the Pulitzer Prize but you'd never know it from what's up there on screen. Gone is the tension and the

unbearable woman. Instead, the relatively placid Allyson is seen to have all sorts of saving graces. Ferrer (who tells the story in flashback to his psychiatrist, Clark) is attracted to Page, but there is no way that Allyson will consent to a divorce, so that romance is scrapped. There are some

good scenes in the mental hospital, although they lack the intensity of many superior psychological movies.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: The gross miscasting of lovable June Allyson as a manipulative woman sets this drama on its ear. A shrike is an innocuous-looking bird that sometimes impales its prey on thorns. The hit play adopted this image for its female lead character, a vicious perso… (more)

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