Ann (Katharine Hepburn) meets industrialist Alan Garroway (Robert Taylor) when he visits to call on her father, chemistry professor ‘Dink’ Hamilton (Edmund Gwenn), about a business matter. When Alan and Ann get to talking, they are immediately attracted to one another. A quick courtship follows and they are married shortly afterwards. The two take a trip to Washington, where Ann is anxious about meeting Alan’s sophisticated friends. She is later embarrassed after feeling unglamorous compared to them, and asks Alan to help her choose different clothes. Some time later, they visit his family home in Virginia, and Ann begins to notice quirks in Alan’s behavior, such as not wanting her to play a specific piece of music at the piano. After suspecting that Alan has been deeply affected by a rift with his brother Michael (Robert Mitchum), she decides to try and learn more about Michael to help her husband. But when Alan discovers what Ann is doing, he becomes very jealous and demands that she confront her own feelings about his brother.
Undercurrent is a compelling film that I really enjoy watching. I am always impressed by the excellent performances, intriguing storyline, beautiful cinematography, and lovely musical score.
Katharine Hepburn is wonderful as Ann; she is sweet and vulnerable in a very appealing way. She also looks gorgeous; I love that stunning gown she wears in the dressing room scene. But most notable is probably the way her character reacts to all this dangerous new information she has learned throughout the story. Katharine portrays it all, especially the insecurity and fear, with such fine skill that it feels so taut and believable.
This was Robert Taylor’s first time back in pictures following the war. He does well in his part -- quite charming, though enigmatic, in the story’s beginning, and then slowly becoming brooding and jealous as the plot takes a darker turn. And I haven’t seen very many films of Robert Mitchum’s, but his smaller part here is a mild and likeable one.
The storyline is gripping, with ample underlying suspense and mystery throughout. Although the film is nearly two hours in length, it seems to go by so quickly because everything is well-paced and interesting. I liked how the unexpected twists were revealed; the viewer finds out everything along with Ann. The cinematography is very striking, dark and opulent, while the perfectly fitting music is from Brahams' Third Symphony.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥