By the time Universal were producing their fifth instalment of the Inner Sanctum Mysteries starring Lon Chaney Jr., the fizzle had run out in this writers’ mind.
Strange Confession sees Chaney Jr. as chemist Jeff Carter, who has been running tests to find a cure for influenza.
One could argue that this film could be viewed with the lens of all the horrors that Capitalism can arise. Carter works for an egocentric tycoon, Roger Graham (J. Carroll Naish) who is always eager to gain a profit by any means even if that means cutting corners. When Carter grows wise to Graham’s ways he initially resigns, and works at a local store. Once married to Mary (Brenda Joyce) and raising a son, their fiances take a strain and Carter finds that he has no choice but to work once more for Graham. It is here that he potentially finds the influenza cure and is encouraged by Graham to go to South America to perfect his findings.
Unbeknownst to Carter however, Graham has eyes on rolling out the formula despite not having a 100 percent success rate, and also to prize Mary away from Carter while he is away.
Tragedy inevitably strikes when Carter’s son is fatally struck down by the killer virus. Once Carter learns of this, he only has vengeance on his mind.
It takes the final reel before this film hits home and true, but the lead up to its conclusion is slow and cumbersome.
Stand out performance goes to Lloyd Bridges as the bright and cheery friend to Carter, Dave Curtis, and potentially the only real spark in the film.
- Saul Muerte