Charlotte Bronn walks out of a mental institution and back into the emotionally stunted life that sent her there, trapped in a chilly relationship with a husband who seems far more interested in Charlotte's stepsister Joan than in his wife.
Charlotte Bronn (Jean Simmons) walks out of a mental institution and back into the emotionally stunted life that sent her there, trapped in a chilly relationship with a husband (Dan O'Herlihy) who seems far more interested in Charlotte's stepsister Joan (Rhonda Fleming) than in his wife. Charlotte clings to the hope that she is improving. But on the night of an elegant party, dressed and coiffed in an unsettling attempt to resemble Joan, she loses her frail self-control - and finally faces the truth about her marriage. Simmons is magnetic as Charlotte, her lovely, delicate face reflecting the inner turmoil of a woman battling for sanity. Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. costars as a professor who offers Charlotte the compassionate support she needs, if she has the courage to accept it. Veteran Mervyn LeRoy (Random Harvest, The Bad Seed) directs this poignant and penetrating tale of a mind and a marriage at a crossroads.
Wearing a curiously (and perhaps deliberately) unattractive blonde wig, Jean Simmons stars in the tense psychological drama HOME BEFORE DARK. Having just recovered from a nervous breakdown, Charlotte Bronn (Simmons) returns from a mental institution to the home she shares with her academician husband Arnold (Dan O'Herlihy). Though he tries his best to help Charlotte re-adapt, his efforts are undermined by the insensitive meddling of her stepmother Inez (Mabel Albertson) and stepsister Joan (Rhonda Fleming) who may or may not have been carrying on a romance with Arnold in Charlotte's absence. The untenable situation at home leads Charlotte into a romance with college professor Jake Diamond (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.), who as an ongoing target of anti-semitism has plenty of his own emotional baggage to deal with. What is remarkable about HOME BEFORE DARK is that it is a film without a villain: even the most unpleasant characters are drawn as three-dimensional human beings, who behave badly because they really don't know any better. The film was adapted by Robert and Eileen Bassing from Eileen's same-named novel.
Mental Illness |
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