DirectorMax Ophuls Music directorFriedrich Hollaender Duration LanguageEnglish
Release dateFebruary 17, 1949 (1949-02-17) (United States) Based onthe novel Wild Calendar
by Libbie Block WriterArthur Laurents (screenplay), Libbie Block (novel) CastJames Mason (Larry Quinada), Barbara Bel Geddes (Leonora Eames), Robert Ryan (Smith Ohlrig), Frank Ferguson (Dr. Hoffman), Curt Bois (Franzi Kartos), Ruth Brady (Maxine) Similar moviesThe Big Sleep, The Asphalt Jungle, American Gangster, Detour, The Third Man, They Live by Night
TaglineThe story of a desperate girl!
Caught trailer 1949 robert ryan james mason barbara bel geddes
Caught is a 1949 American film noir directed by Max Ophüls, and starring James Mason, Barbara Bel Geddes and Robert Ryan. Caught was based on a novel by Libbie Block. Child actor Jimmy Hawkins had a small role in the film.
Young model Leonora Eames marries multimillionaire Smith Ohlrig. Ohlrig, though, is deranged and has not married for love. Eames insists several times that she married for love, but the film suggests that she is deluding herself. When Ohlrig becomes too abusive, she leaves him, penniless, to find a job at a medical clinic in a poor neighborhood and eventually falls for Dr. Larry Quinada.
During a one-night reconciliation with Ohlrig, she becomes pregnant. Ohlrig seeks to use the child as leverage to force Leonora to return to him—purely to assert his own power, and not out of any love for her. When he has an attack of angina (the film implies this is psychosomatic), Leonora refuses to help him swallow his medication. Thinking she's caused his death (he actually recovers), she calls Quinada for help and prematurely enters labor. Quinada rushes her to the hospital, but the baby is stillborn. With the baby lost, however, Ohlrig no longer has any leverage over Leonora, and she is now free to divorce him and marry Quinada.
James Mason as Larry Quinada
Barbara Bel Geddes as Leonora Eames
Robert Ryan as Smith Ohlrig
Frank Ferguson as Dr. Hoffman
Curt Bois as Franzi Kartos
Natalie Schafer as Dorothy Dale
Art Smith as Psychiatrist
According to MGM records the film earned $511,000 in the US and Canada and $265,000 overseas.
Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 100% of six surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 8.4/10. Bosley Crowther of The New York Times called it " a very low-grade dime-store romance, expensively rendered on film". Variety wrote although the performances are topnotch, the story fails to lift it above romantic pulp fiction. In more modern reviews, J. Hoberman of The New York Times wrote, "The filmmaking is brilliant in part because, like Bel Geddes's deceptively modest performance, it is so apparently unassuming." Anthony Lane of The New Yorker called it a masterwork and wrote that Ohlrig is "a barely concealed portrait of Howard Hughes". Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of The A.V. Club called it "Ophüls' best non-period film". Chuck Bowen of Slant Magazine wrote that it is not as good as Ophüls' later masterpieces, but it "offers a damning portrait of middle-class American society as a large and merciless snare."