Noirs We Love: Cause for Alarm!

You’ll want to set your DVRs to record TCM this Friday, January 15, at 2:45 p.m. ET to catch a relatively lesser-known noir that we really like: Cause for Alarm! (1951), which has the unusual twist of featuring a female protagonist, rather than the typical male, who’s fallen into a whirlpool of trouble.

Loretta Young plays a well-intentioned wife whose invalid, delusional and, worst of all, jealous husband (Barry Sullivan) writes a letter that threatens to put her in serious legal jeopardy. We’ll say no more than that, but take our word for it: This is an entertaining, if admittedly minor, example of the domestic noir genre (as far as we know, we just coined that term, but feel free to use it going forward) that is well worth your time.

Noirs We Love: Cause for Alarm

Ninety-nine years Young

Today marks Loretta Young’s 99th birthday.

She enjoyed a long, fruitful career that began in the era of silent movies (she appeared in two pictures in 1917, when she was all of four years old) and ended in 1994, when she was 81, and she certainly made many memorable movies, The Bishop’s Wife and The Farmer’s Daughter among them. But our favorites among her oeuvre include the noir-ish 1951 thriller Cause for Alarm! and, especially, the many pictures she made in the late 1920s and early ’30s.

Surely few women have ever appeared more beautiful on-screen than Young did in those pre-code days.

Here’s more on Young’s life and career.