AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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The Red House
Alternate Title: No Trespassing
Director: Delmer Daves (Dir)
Release Date:   7 Feb 1947
Production Date:   mid-Apr--28 Jun 1946
Duration (in mins):   98-100
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Cast:   Edward G. Robinson (Pete Morgan)  
    Lon McCallister (Nath Storm)  
    Judith Anderson (Ellen Morgan)  
    Rory Calhoun (Teller)  
    Allene Roberts (Meg [Morgan])  
    Julie London (Tibby [Rinton])  
    Ona Munson (Mrs. Storm)  
    Harry Shannon (Dr. Byrne)  
    Arthur Space (The sheriff)  
    Walter Sande (Don Brent)  

Summary: Teenager Meg Morgan lives with her adoptive father Pete and his sister Ellen on an isolated farm surrounded by Ox Head woods, which for all her life she has been forbidden to enter. When Meg brings home schoolmate Nath Storm to help Pete, who has a wooden leg, on their farm, Pete warns Nath not to enter the woods. Nath defies him, and while walking home, he is knocked out by a man in the dark. Suspicious of Pete's preoccupation with Ox Head, Nath and Meg explore the woods with Nath's girl firend, Tibby Rinton. Pete reacts with rage and threatens to whip Meg if she ever enters the woods again. As Pete becomes increasingly jealous of Meg's affection for Nath, Meg begins to fear Pete, and Nath takes a job at the Rinton farm. Pete, meanwhile, tells Teller, a local drifter, to use no restraint in keeping people out of the woods. Tibby, meanwhile, leaves Nath for Teller. One day Teller catches Meg exploring the woods and shoots at her, and in a panic, she falls and breaks her leg. Nath rescues her, and later is ordered off the property by Pete. Pete then enters Meg's room and calls her "Jeanie." When Meg confesses this to Ellen, she confronts Pete about his strange behavior, warning him not to become possessive of Meg, as he did with Meg's mother, Jeanie. Ellen, who for years has been in love with the town doctor, Byrne, sacrificed a life of happiness to take care of Pete after he nearly went insane following an incident at the red house in Ox Head woods fifteen years earlier. Determined to save Pete and Meg from the past, Ellen goes to burn down the woods, and with it, the red house and its adjacent icehouse. Planning only to frighten Ellen, Teller inadvertently shoots her. Meg hears the gunshot and runs to Ellen, but Pete, who is beginning to lose his mind, refuses to help, telling Meg that she and Ellen are being punished for "defying the red house." Although Meg calls Nath for help, Ellen dies before he arrives. Meanwhile, Teller has convinced Tibby to elope with him that night, and they flee in her father's truck. Meg returns to the house with Nath, who takes Pete's rifle and goes after Teller after calling the sheriff. Afraid that Nath will kill Teller, Meg begs Pete to help, and he confesses to murdering Meg's parents in the red house after her father threatened to take her and her mother away. The bodies of Meg's parents, he explains, lie beneath the icehouse in a sunken surrey. Although Meg is horrified, she offers Pete absolution in exchange for saving Nath, unaware that the police have already arrested Teller. When Meg and Pete arrive at the red house, Pete begins calling her "Jeanie." Then, as Nath and the sheriff are heard outside and Meg screams for help, he covers her mouth in the same way he did before accidentally suffocating Jeanie. Nath rescues Meg, and the sheriff pursues Pete as he flees in his car. Pete drives into the icehouse, then drowns. As his car sinks, a wheel from the surrey floats to the surface. Later, Meg and Nath start a new life together. 

Production Company: Thalia Productions, Inc.  
Distribution Company: United Artists Corp.  
Director: Delmer Daves (Dir)
  Robert Stillman (Asst dir)
Producer: Sol Lesser (Prod)
Writer: Delmer Daves (Wrt for the scr by)
Photography: Bert Glennon (Dir of photog)
  Ed Fitzgerald (2d cam)
Art Direction: McClure Capps (Art dir)
Film Editor: Merrill White (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Dorcy Howard (Int)
Costumes: Frank Beetson (Cost)
Music: Miklos Rozsa (Mus)
Sound: Frank McWhorter (Sd tech)
  Joseph I. Kane (Re-rec and eff mixer)
  Eddie J. Nelson (Re-rec and eff mixer)
  Jack Noyes (Re-rec and eff mixer)
  William H. Wilmarth (Mus mixer)
Special Effects: Warren Lynch (Transparency projection shots)
Make Up: Irving Berns (Makeup artist)
Production Misc: Clem Beauchamp (Prod mgr)
Country: United States

Music:
Songs:
Source Text: Based on the novel The Red House by George Agnew Chamberlain (Indianapolis, 1945).
Authors: George Agnew Chamberlain

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Thalia Productions, Inc. 7/2/1947 dd/mm/yyyy LP864

PCA NO: 11657
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Recording

 
Genre: Horror
 
Subjects (Major): Fathers and daughters
  Forests
  Murder
  Obsession
  Romantic rivalry
 
Subjects (Minor): Adoption
  Automobile chases
  Elopement
  Farms
  Icehouses
  Insanity
  Mothers and daughters
  Sheriffs
  Tramps

Note: The film's working title was No Trespassing . George Agnew Chamberlain's novel was also serialized in SEP from 10 Mar--7 Apr 1945. This film was the first production for Edward G. Robinson and Sol Lesser's company, Thalia Productions. Portions of this film were shot at Sonora, CA, according to HR . As reported in HR , Capitol Records made a deal with Miklos Rozsa to record the film's score, which was to be entitled "Suite in Four Movements." According to MPH , $800 from the film's profits was donated to the Greek War Relief Association. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   1 Feb 1947.   
Daily Variety   3 Feb 1947.   
Film Daily   4 Feb 1947.   
Hollywood Reporter   26 Apr 46   p. 19.
Hollywood Reporter   16 May 46   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   21 Jun 46   p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter   1 Jul 46   p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter   2 Jan 47   p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter   3 Feb 47   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   20 Mar 47   p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald   8 Feb 1947.   
New York Times   17 Mar 47   p. 27.
Variety   5 Feb 47   p. 12.

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