Monday, March 4, 2013

I Thank a Fool (1962)

I Thank a Fool begins with a doctor named Christine Allison (Susan Hayward) mercy killing one of her dying patients. The patient begs her in agony to take his life as she promised she would. Christine tells the nurse she will give the man his injection herself and asks the nurse to leave. Before Christine gives the man his injection she purposely drops the bottle in the floor to break it. Not long after this incident Christine is put on trial for murder. One of the prosecutors named Stephen Dane (this takes place in England) brings out the fact that Christine and the man she has killed were having an affair long before they had moved to Liverpool. He left Canada with her and left his wife behind. Christine is eventually found guilty of manslaughter and only gets two years in prison.
            Once out of prison Christine cannot find a job. She lies about her credentials even her name but no one will hire her. One day Christine receives a call from an old woman named Heather. The two women eventually meet and the older woman tells Christine that her nephew wants to meet her. It turns out Heather’s nephew is Stephan Dane. As soon as Christine is left alone with Stephan she immediately refuses the job she does not want to be working for the man who put her in jail and ruined her career. He begs her to reconsider. She would be there to care for his wife, Liane, who suffered brain damage in a car accident the year before. Stephan eventually manages to convince Christine to work for him.
            Things in the house are not as they appear. One night Christine is woken by yelling and in the morning she sees a scratch across Stephan’s face. She begins to notice that her new boss is not telling her the whole truth about his wife and her condition.
            I do not want to give away the rest of the story. First of all it is a bit complicated to explain and second the story unfolds in suspense and intrigue that is better left to be seen.
            Susan Hayward was excellent. Hayward had a way of playing these characters that are accused of something or are going through hell and through their ordeals she manages to keep calm on the outside and persevere. I love that about her because she was so good and believable at playing those types characters. I also liked how her character in this film was curious but she was not obnoxious about it. Christine did sneak behind Stephan’s back once but she did not do it all the time like in the middle of the night around the house or ask around time. She was observant in her curiosity and investigating. I have never seen Peter Finch in a film before this. I did not think too much of him. I did not find him that great of an actor.
            I Thank a Fool is a good film not one of the best suspense films. There are plot holes and some scenes where you are left questioning what on earth just happened. Also some of the motives and logic of the characters are unusual and questionable. Even with some of its flaw I Thank a Fool is definitely worth the time to watch.