Tormented (1960) starring Richard Carlson, Lugene Sanders, Juli Reding
In Tormented, a pianist dumped his singer girlfriend and became engaged to a young socialite from an affluent island community. A confrontation between them at the top of a lighthouse results in her falling to her death to the rocks below. The pianist tries to keep the death quiet while proceeding with the wedding plans. But the dead singer begins haunting him …
Tormented is one of those movies that has a good idea, but a mediocre execution. It’s the story of a great Jazz pianist, confronted at an old lighthouse by a former girlfriend. She still loves him, and swears that no one else will marry him. And she has blackmail letters to make sure. They argue, and she falls through a rusty guard rail. He has a moment where he could save her life… But he doesn’t. Instead, he lets her fall to her death.
Soon, he sees her ghost haunting him in various ways, even as a disembodied hand. The ghost hand sports the wedding ring for his upcoming wedding, as well. As I say, it’s not a bad idea at all. Frankly, I think it would have worked better with no ghost, only a guilty conscience. But it’s a cheesy movie, despite a good cast. Several clichés appear, such as the fianceé’s cute younger daughter, blind older friend to talk with, etc.
In short, Tormented has a good cast, with poor special effects, and a worse script. It’s a real pity, since the basic idea is good, as is the cast.
Cast of characters
- Richard Carlson (It Came from Outer Space) as Tom Stewart. The pianist who makes the mistake of letting Vi fall to his death. And tries to continue with his wedding plans, despite being haunted by Vi. And she succeeds at corrupting him … to the point of murder.
- Susan Gordon (Attack of the Puppet People) as Sandy Hubbard. Meg’s younger sister, both adorable & endearing. She’s quite attached to Tom. Until she sees Tom’s murder victim.
- Lugene Sanders as Meg Hubbard. Tom’s fianceé. A very nice young lady, Sandy’s older sister. She clearly loves Tom very much.
- Juli Reding as Vi Mason. The lounge singer who won’t let go of Tom. Even in death. Frankly, if she was as mean in life as she was in death, he was well rid of her.
- Joe Turkel as Nick. The “ferry driving beatnik” who first hits Tom up for $5.00 for Vi’s fare. And then decides to blackmail Tom for $5,000. Why does a character who knows someone’s a murderer try to blackmail them … and then turns their back on them?
Editorial review of Tormented courtesy of Amazon.com
Richard Carlson stars in this thrill-fest as a man haunted by a nagging conscience and a dead lover! Jazz pianist Tom Stewart (Carlson) is headed for Carnegie Hall – right after he marries his lovely fiancée Meg (Lugene Sanders). But when Vi Mason (Juli Reding), a lounge singer Tom rejected, shows up at the island lighthouse where Tom practices, she insists that no one will marry Tom but her. After she accidentally falls over a railing to her death, Vi returns as a ghost bent on revenge.
Slowly, Tom loses his grip on reality, and it’s a matter of time before tragedy strikes again in Tormented! Because of his initials (B.I.G.) and also because he frequently wrote giants into his science fiction screenplays, Bert I. (Ira) Gordon was nicknamed “Mr. Big” by actor friend Forrest J. Ackerman.