6.5/10
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Cause for Alarm! (1951)

An invalid husband wrongly believes his wife and doctor are conspiring to kill him and outlines that suspicion in a letter, which causes a serious concern when he ends up dying anyway.

Director:

Tay Garnett

Writers:

Mel Dinelli (screenplay), Tom Lewis (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Loretta Young ... Ellen Jones
Barry Sullivan ... George Z. Jones
Bruce Cowling ... Dr. Ranney Grahame
Margalo Gillmore ... Mrs. Edwards
Brad Morrow ... Hoppy - Billy (as Bradley Mora)
Irving Bacon ... Mr. Carston - Postman
Georgia Backus ... Mrs. Warren
Don Haggerty ... Mr. Russell
Art Baker ... Superintendent
Richard Anderson ... Lonesome Sailor
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Storyline

Invalid George Jones is both physically and mentally ill. He mistakenly believes his wife Ellen and his doctor are having an affair and also planning to kill him. He writes a letter to his lawyer detailing their alleged murder plot. After he has Ellen give the letter to their postman, he reveals its contents to her and then threatens her with a gun. The excitement proves to much and George suffers a fatal collapse. Now Ellen must find a way to retrieve the incriminating letter. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This Girl Is In Danger! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 August 1951 (Portugal) See more »

Also Known As:

Grund zur Aufregung See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$635,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Tom Lewis wanted Judy Garland for the part, but his wife Loretta Young wanted the part also. She retained a lawyer who told him that he was discriminating against her because she was his wife. She got the part. See more »

Quotes

George Z. Jones: Ummm... my head.
Ellen Jones: Is your head bothering you?
George Z. Jones: Terribly... both of them.
Ellen Jones: Would you like me to rub it for you?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Crime Wave: 50 Movie Mega Pack (2016) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
It Builds The Suspense Well
22 March 2010 | by sddavis63See all my reviews

In addition to a really good performance from Loretta Young as the increasingly desperate Ellen Jones, I give great credit to director Tay Garnett for the very effective build-up of suspense, which shifts gears partway through the movie but doesn't miss a beat in doing so. As Ellen, Young is playing a woman trying to nurse her gravely ill husband back to health. Unfortunately, George Jones' poor health has led him to become increasingly paranoid, and he's come to the conclusion that Ellen and his doctor are in love and trying to murder him. Ellen tries her best to "put on a happy face" as she deals with her increasingly difficult spouse, and then discovers that a letter she mailed for him was actually directed to the District Attorney, and accused her and the doctor of planning his murder. (As an added complication, George actually dies after the letter is sent.) The movie then shifts from George's paranoia to Ellen's desperation, as, after George dies, she frantically tries to get the letter back before it reaches the DA, but with every more desperate attempt to get the letter she seems to set herself up as more guilty. Where and how will this end?

It's a very well done movie, with a lot of little things that gave it a feel of authenticity: the nosy neighbours, and the neighbourhood kid who pretends to be Hopalong Cassidy showing up at Ellen's house looking for cookies. The opening scenes, explaining how George and Ellen met and their mutual relationship with Dr. Graham, went on perhaps a bit too long. Then, at the end, there is an expected twist (because you always expect a surprise twist in a movie like this) but the expected twist wasn't the twist I was expecting, and it provided a somewhat humorous (and perhaps, therefore, slightly out of place) ending to an overall very enjoyable film.


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