It was her childhood dream come true. She had married a man worth millions. But her innocent dream became a tormented nightmare once she realized the truth about her husband. He was more than a millionaire, he was absolutely power mad and insane! Since he will not give her a divorce, she leaves a life of luxury and goes to work as a receptionist in an impoverished doctor's office in NYC's lower east side. After a temporary reconciliation (one night) with the rich husband, She conceives a child. By the time she finds out she is pregnant, she and one of the doctors (James Mason) have fallen in love but but she goes back to the mad husband so the child will have a wealthy background. Her sadistic husband is hell-bent on keeping her prisoner and keeping the child. The mad husband has a heart attack and she chooses not to help him, then suffers a miscarriage because of the shocking events. This movie is one of the few "code" movies in which the death of an unborn fetus (the miscarriage) is seen as a way out for the heroine.
-Of the many European emigres who helped shape American cinema, especially film noir, Max Ophuls brought one of the subtlest, most elusive sensibilities. Caught reflects this elusiveness: Part melodrama, part romance, part film noir, it's an unsettling film that burrows into complacent assumptions about freedom and success.
Department-store model Barbara Bel Geddes buys the notion that snagging a rich husband is the key to happiness. Once wed to disgustingly wealthy tycoon Smith Ohlrig (Robert Ryan), however, she finds herself a bird in a gilded cage whose owner is increasingly jealous, abusive and frightening. (The rumors are that Ohlrig was modelled on Howard Hughes, much as Charles Foster Kane was on William Randolph Hearst.) Finally she leaves him to work in the office of a poor pediatrician (James Mason), with whom she falls in love. But she and Ryan keep drifting back together, in a love-hate relationship that grows ever more doomed and desperate (there's a virtuoso scene in Mason's offices, at night, centering on her ominously empty desk)....
This is certainly Bel Geddes' most complex and fleshed-out screen performance, but the script suggests dimensions that she only hints at; though the part wouldn't work with a tigress like that other Barbara, Stanwyck, taking on Ryan in an equal grudge-match, an actress with a mite more edge might have shown how the caged wife came to draw courage and defiance precisely from her position as a powerful man's wife. (Bel Geddes is just too wholesome and likeable to bring off this ambiguity.) And the heavy paw of the studio descends as Caught comes to a close: The conclusion is too quick, loose ends flap in the breeze, and satisfaction remains incomplete. Ryan's dynamo performance -- he could really make the flesh crawl -- and Ophul's elegant direction compensate for a half-baked denouement imposed by a craven studio, lest anybody take personal or political offense.Written by F .Kelleghan
Writers:Arthur Laurents (screenplay), Libbie Block (novel)
James Mason James Mason ... Larry Quinada
Barbara Bel Geddes ... Leonora Eames
Robert Ryan ... Smith Ohlrig
Frank Ferguson ... Dr. Hoffman
Curt Bois ... Franzi Kartos
Ruth Brady ... Maxine
Natalie Schafer ... Dorothy Dale
Art Smith ... Psychiatrist
Release Date:17 February 1949 (USA)
Also Known As:Gefangen
Sound Mix:Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Color:Black and White