A chilling thriller set in 1903 gaslit London has fascinating character actor Cregar in the lead role as a sort of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He is a sensitive composer who becomes a maniac when he hears discordant noises and roams the fog-bound London streets for victims upon which to vent
his considerable spleen. When an antique dealer tries to cheat him, Cregar summarily strangles the man. A well-to-do woman hires him to compose a piece, then rejects the work, causing him to kill her. His romance with singer Darnell comes to nothing after he discovers she has been two-timing him.
Cregar's vengeance is terrible; he burns her body in a street fire set to celebrate Guy Fawkes Day. Sanders, a Scotland Yard psychologist, discovers Cregar's malady and brings him to justice in the end. Cregar was only 28 years old when he completed this, his first starring vehicle, but he never
lived to see it. He became obsessed with maintaining leading man status once he was given this star billing and immediately launched a crash diet which would reduce his great girth; he literally starved himself to death, and Hollywood lost one of its most promising actors. The memorable score for
HANGOVER SQUARE was composed by Herrmann, who wrote the music for CITIZEN KANE. The composer later adapted the final sequences into a one-movement concerto which was performed to great success.
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