After a brain-damaged man confesses to murder and is committed, Dr. Ann Lorrison tries to prove his innocence.


Curtis Bernhardt


Sydney Boehm (screenplay), Lester Cole (screenplay) | 4 more credits »





Complete credited cast:
Robert Taylor ... Steven Kenet
Audrey Totter ... Dr. Ann Lorrison
Herbert Marshall ... Willard I. Whitcombe
Dorothy Patrick ... Helen Kenet
H.B. Warner ... Mr. Slocum
Warner Anderson ... Dr. George Poward
Moroni Olsen ... Dr. Philip Dunlap
John Ridgely ... David Wallace (as John Ridgeley)
Morris Ankrum ... Dr. Stanley Griffin
Elisabeth Risdon ... Mrs. Kenet
Vince Barnett ... Henry Cronner
Jonathan Hale ... Emory Garrison
Charles Arnt ... Sidney X. Hackle
Ray Mayer Ray Mayer ... Tom Delaney
Robert Hyatt ... Richard Kenet (as Bobby Hyatt)


Steven Kenet, suffering from a recurring brain injury, appears to have strangled his wife. Having confessed, he's committed to an understaffed county asylum full of pathetic inmates. There, Dr. Ann Lorrison is initially skeptical about Kenet's story and reluctance to undergo treatment. But against her better judgement, she begins to doubt his guilt, and endangers her career on a dangerous quest through dark streets awash with rain. Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


So tense! So taut! It closes in on you like a high wall!


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


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Did You Know?


This film did poorly at the box office for MGM, resulting in a loss of $101,000 ($1M in 2017) according to studio records. See more »


At around ten minutes, a group of doctors are looking at Kenet's skull x-rays. The x-rays are hung behind the illuminated frosted glass panels - so that we can see the x-rays, but the doctors could not. And the x-ray as we see it is oriented correctly to show a left side hematoma, but to the doctors, the x-ray is reversed meaning the hematoma would be on the right. See more »


David Wallace: I don't care about neurosis, psychosis, or arterial thrombosis.
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Nocturne Op. 9, No. 2
Composed by Frédéric Chopin
[The piano piece Slocum plays on the phonograph for Steve when they first meet at dinner]
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User Reviews

Not great but well worth a look
6 October 2006 | by HandlinghandelSee all my reviews

This is probably Robert Taylor's first real film noir. He is revered in some circles for work a decade later such as Nicholas Ray's "Party Girl." I think he is excellent in "High Wall." He plays a decorated war vet who is accused of murder. Not just accused of murder but also but into a psychiatric hospital. Yikes. No fun at all. Except that the hypnotherapist assigned to his case is a beautiful woman who kind of likes him.

Cast in the role of the psychiatrist is one of the great staples of film noir, Audrey Totter. She is as always good. Better than good. What's intriguing here is that she is cast not as a femme fatale but as a career woman who is in every sense on the right side of the angels and the law.

Herbert Marshall turns in a superbly creepy performance also. I won't say much about his role other than that this is not really a whodunit. We know the answer to that very early.

It's an unusual, brave movie. It has flaws but is nevertheless very good.

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Release Date:

17 December 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

High Wall See more »


Box Office


$1,844,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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