Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The (1945): Siodmak’s Film Noir, Starring George Sanders

Robert Siodmak directed The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, a film noir, based on the play “Uncle Harry” by Thomas Job, starring George Sanders as an aging bachelor.

Harry Quincy (Sanders) is an amiable middle-aged man working as a designer in a fabric mill in the small town of Corinth.

He lives as a bachelor in a large house with his two sisters; Lettie (Fitzgerald) and Hester (MacGill). Lettie is pretty but spoiled, spending days in bed, feigning numerous ailments. Hester is a widow and is harder working.

Though the family was rich, the money was lost in the Depression.  Everything is disrupted by the arrival of a young and attractive designer, Deborah (Raines), from New York City.

After falling in love, they plan to get married and live in the big family house, but this involves the sisters finding a new place. Whilst this is not an issue for Hester, Lettie is very resistant. The plan is thwarted when Lettie collapses and is taken to hospital. Deborah forces Harry to choose, and when he favors his sister, they part.

Upon hearing that Deborah is getting married in New York, Harry feels betrayed. He recalls that Lettie bought poison for euthanizing their dog.

In order to satisfy the Production Code, the discovery of the poison bottle turns out to be imaginary, and Harry pours it in the bin.

In the implausible happy ending, Deborah decides not to marry the other man and reunited with Harry.

George Sanders as Harry Melville Quincey
Geraldine Fitzgerald as Lettie Quincey
Ella Raines as Deborah Brown
Sara Allgood as Nona
Moyna Macgill as Hester Quincey
Samuel S. Hinds as Dr. Adams
Harry von Zell as Ben (as Harry VonZell)
Judy Clark as Helen
Coulter Irwin as Biff Wagner (as Coulter F. Irwin)
Craig Reynolds as John Warren


TMC showed this movie on January 2, 2021.