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Inner Sanctum

Charles Russell; Mary Beth Hughes; Lee Patrick , Lew Landers  |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Price: $9.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Inner Sanctum + Inner Sanctum Mysteries: The Complete Movie Collection (Calling Dr. Death / Weird Woman / The Frozen Ghost / Pillow of Death / Dead Man's Eyes / Strange Confession)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Charles Russell; Mary Beth Hughes; Lee Patrick
  • Directors: Lew Landers
  • Writers: Jerome T Gollard
  • Producers: Richard B Morros
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Studio: Synergy Ent
  • DVD Release Date: October 30, 2008
  • Run Time: 62 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001JP63T2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #740,492 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Inner Sanctum" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

A woman is told by a fortune teller that she will die on a train. When she does go on a train there is an escaped murderer on it and they all end up in the same boarding house in a small town

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inner Sanctum July 2, 2005
A know-it-all seer (Fritz Leiber, Sr., Shakespearean actor and father of the sci-fi writer) on a train performs a couple of cheap parlor tricks (tells time without looking at a watch, foretells when the train is about to reach a curve in the track), creeping out the beautiful, dark-haired stranger sitting next to him. The low rent Nostradamus drags the movie into a flashback when he begins to tell her about a brutal railroad murder committed by Harold Dunlap (Charles Russell.) Deftly told in as a nifty, wraparound flashback, INNER SANCTUM was directed by the prolific Lew Landers and features a cast of competent and undistinguished actors. It's a Poverty Row production from 1948 that relies on psychology and character interaction to provide the thrills and chills.

After the curtain raising murder Dunlap dumps the body on the rear car of the departing train and backs into the tall shadows of the desert station. Practically deserted, that is. There's someone else there, someone who likes to watch the trains pass by at night and who may, or may not, have seen Dunlap do the foul deed. Before Dunlap has a chance to crush the skull of this maybe witness they're called away. Dunlap attempts to hitchhike as far away from the scene as possible, but there are heavy rains and bridges are washed out. Before the night is out Dunlap is renting a room at a local boarding house in this small burg in the Pacific Northwest. Dunlap finds himself, inevitably, boarding in a house filled with well-realized characters, including the maybe witness from the train station.

INNER SANCTUM is very similar to Orson Welles' "The Stranger" and Hitchcock's "Shadow of a Doubt.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even in a small town, their is Inner Sanctum. September 24, 2004
"Inner Sanctum Mysteries" was a popular radio program in January 7, 1941-October 5, 1952. The stories were surreal and eerie about people and situations that happen every day, but "Inner Sanctum" had a twist.
This "Inner Sanctum" film is truly based upon the radio program of the same name. It is from 1948 and will give you goosebumps. There are no monsters, no red blood, just a good eerie story about fate. I won't give away any of the plot, but the film starts with a woman on a train and a nice older gentleman sitting next to her tells her exactly what will happen next, but simply tells her as a gentle warning. He is always right and can tell what time it is without a watch. He has no need for such contrivances. The nice man proceeds to tell the woman a real story about a woman coming off a train.
In the cast: Charles Russell, Mary Beth Hughes, Billy House, Dale Belding, Fritz Leiber, Nana Bryant, Lee Patrick, Roscoe Ates, Eddie Parks and Eve Miller.
This film is truly an insomniacs weird dream. The film is highly interesting to watch and only runs 62 minutes long so you can get back to bed to sleep...if you dare.

Best line: "When you tell a woman that's over 40 she is beautiful, you ain't a liar--you're a philantrophist". said by Roscoe Ates as "Willie".

Prior "Inner Sanctum" movies:
Calling Dr. Death (1943)
Weird Woman (1944)
Conjure Wife (1944)
Dead Man's Eyes (1944)
Strange Confession (Original Title: The Imposter [1945])
The Frozen Ghost (1945)
Weird Woman (1945)
Pillow of Death (1945)

Note: An "Inner Sanctum" tv series was made in 1954.

There are two films and one tv-movie that uses the title "Inner Sanctum", but they are not of the above genre. They are late-night adult films, "Inner Sanctum" (1991) and "Inner Sanctum 2" (1994).
Seduction: Three Tales from the "Inner Sanctum" (1992-TV).

You have been warned!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heed the warning:Do not get off the train! October 23, 2005
By Tonya
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Don't pass up this masterpiece of a classic thriller! Filled with suspense . Buy it you won't be disappointed. I also recommend "Nightmare Alley" also a wonderful movie filled with suspense and mystery!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Taut low budget film noir March 10, 2006
The Lew Landers directed "Inner Sanctum" is a brief but decent thriller filmed in the film noir style featuring a cast of veritable unknown actors.

The film is a recounting of a story told by a spooky looking clairvoyant type doctor played by Fritz Lieber to a high falooting attractive young woman aboard a train.

The main plot surrounds a gentleman named Harold Dunlap played by Charles Russell. Russell disembarks a train at a dark and deserted railway station in a small town quarreling with his girlfriend. In a violent confrontation he kills the girl and hoists her body back onto the platform of the now departing train. Little does he know that he's been observed by a young kid, Mike, played by a freckle faced, gap toothed Dale Belding who'd been hiding near the station.

Looking for a way out of town Russell is picked up by local newspaperman McFee played by aptly named and rotund Billy House. House informs Russell that due to the flooding of a nearby river, all the access roads out of town are closed. He drops him off at a local boarding house to get a room.

The boarding house is full of a host of odd characters and also an attractive Mary Beth Hughes playing Jean Maxwell, the niece of the landlady, who becomes a Russell love interest. It just so happens that the kid Mike lives there as well. At first Mike doesn't recognize Russell but little by little, he begins to realize that he was the man at the station.

Russell begins to feel the noose tightening around his neck as the flood keeps on delaying his ability to depart and he feels compelled to do harm to the kid to protect his secret. The tension and desperation is nicely built up by director Landers giving the film some definite high points.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars "You're Very Pretty, When You're Lips Aren't Moving!"...
A woman named Marie Kembar (Eve Miller) meets a strange, seemingly omniscient old man named Dr. Valonius (Fritz Leiber) on a train. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Bindy Sue Frřnkünschtein
3.0 out of 5 stars Hokey but watchable
Disclaimer: The version of INNER SANCTUM that I watched was included in the Midnight Mysteries Collection distributed by PopFlix. Read more
Published on September 4, 2012 by Bryan Byrd
4.0 out of 5 stars Dr. Valonius (the Seer): "We're going to stop soon. Don't get off."
Of the two DVD mfrs. linked here, ALPHA is best-known and most widely available. Like that outfit, SYNERGY offers unrestored dubs from "best available sources," with quality that... Read more
Published on February 22, 2010 by Annie Van Auken
5.0 out of 5 stars STRANGE MYSTERY!!!
This odd story of strange circumstances wrapped around a nifty little tale told on a train is certainly true to the spirit of the INNER SANCTUM radio show of the same period. Read more
Published on December 27, 2008 by Richard J. Oravitz
4.0 out of 5 stars A tale of destiny and murder, with a practical but unusual use for a...
"I could tell you of a forceful woman," says Doctor Valonius, a white-haired old man who can tell the correct time without looking at a watch, to the spoiled, impatient,... Read more
Published on February 1, 2008 by C. O. DeRiemer
4.0 out of 5 stars "You're pretty awful! You're even too bad for me!"
This review is for the DVD released by Alpha Video in 2004.

The story starts out on a train where an elderly eccentric man and a young woman strike up a conversation. Read more
Published on August 3, 2005 by Daniel C. Markel
3.0 out of 5 stars NOT BAD FOR THE PRICE
Though not as perverse as DETOUR, this moody little potboiler about a loser on the run & the boy who witnesses a murder will hold your attention. Read more
Published on July 17, 2004
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