Among the Living
Time Out saysA gripping piece of Southern gothic, with Albert Dekker (excellent) as identical twins. John, sent away to school as a boy, returns home after 25 years for his father's funeral, and is horrified to learn that his brother Paul is not dead as everybody thought, but shut away in the family mansion, driven insane by his father's cruelty to his mother when he was still a boy. In a nicely grisly touch, echoed in a later murder, the body of Paul's keeper is found with his hands placed over his ears (shutting out the mother's screams that Paul still hears); and in a wonderfully touching sequence, Paul goes walkabout in town, tasting freedom with the same joyous innocence as Frankenstein's monster when he first comes alive. But the violence underlying everyday life sparks a new crisis in him; the two people who know his story try to duck responsibility to preserve their own reputations; and soon the town is in the grip of lynch-fever. Script (Lester Cole/Garrett Fort), camera (Theodor Sparkuhl) and direction all conspire beautifully to keep the screws turned tight.