The Shrike is the story of a couple, namely of a man named Jim Downs (Jose Ferrer) who attempts suicide and is placed in a mental institution. His wife Ann (June Allyson) is reluctant to let him out because she fears he will return to his lover Charlotte (Joy Page) and she enjoys control over him. As we learn more about his life though, it is obvious that Ann hurts Jim more than he helps her and the fact that she has such influence over him is somewhat disturbing.
The Shrike was Allyson's only film against type, but her audiences hated her so much that they forced the studio to change the ending to make her seem nicer. This is too bad because the finale seems oddly out of sync with the rest of the film. Still, it works in a way and does not make the film a flop. It is actually quite good; the story is engaging and it is well acted.
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