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House by the River (Republic 1950, Louis Hayward, Jane Wyatt)



Twisted psychological intrigue is at the heart of House by the Sea. Evil has a way of coming back to haunt its practitioners in Lang’s disturbing drama. Louis Hayward plays a married writer living on the banks of a dark river who accidentally kills his young maid during a rebuffed attempt to romance her. He first tries to dispose of the body in the river, but when the corpse washes ashore, he decides to pin the crime on his crippled brother (Lee Bowman). When the writer’s wife (Jane Wyatt) discovers his crime, she joins the accused brother in exposing her husband.

Mel Dinelli, who co-wrote the screenplay, specialized in murder mystery film noirs. Some of Dinelli’s other films in the genre include The Spiral Staircase (1946), The Window (1949), Beware My Lovely (1952) and Jeopardy (1953).

production details
USA | Republic | 88 minutes | 1950

Director: Fritz Lang
Script: A.P. Herbert, Mel Dinelli,

Jane Wyatt as Marjorie Byrne
Kathleen Freeman as Effie Ferguson – Party Guest
Sarah Padden as Mrs. Beach – Stephen’s elderly cook
Jody Gilbert as Flora Bantam – John’s housekeeper
Will Wright as Inspector Sarten
Effie Laird as Mrs. Gaunt
Lee Bowman as John Byrne
Louis Hayward as Stephen Byrne
Peter Brocco as Harry – coroner chairing inquest
Dorothy Patrick as Emily Gaunt
Ann Shoemaker as Mrs. Ambrose – Stephen’s houseeper
Howland Chamberlain as D.A.-prosecutor at inquest
Leslie Kimmell as Mr. Gaunt
Margaret Seddon as Mrs. Whittaker – Party Guest
Alex Gerry as Miller, bookseller
Carl Switzer as Walter Herbert, office boy
George Taylor as Coroner’s Court Clerk