Strangers in the Night

Director: Anthony Mann
Year Released: 1944
Rating: 2.0

An injured Marine (William Terry) has his spirits lifted by a pen-pal named Rosemary back in the States - they both like A.E. Housman's A Shropshire Lad - but when he tries to meetup with her in person, he only finds her crippled mother Hilda (Helen Thimig) waiting for him.  Mann's going hard on the (kinda loopy) psychological angle - Hilda's a loon who couldn't have children so she invented one (she's also fond of poisoning people) - but there are a metric ton of coincidences that never stop popping up: the Marine just happened to study painting, the phone just happened to ring at the right time, Dr. Ross (Virginia Grey) just happened to be on the train, etc.  It runs a breezy fifty-six minutes and doesn't waste any time, which is nice for a B-noir with sinister undertones.