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Conflict 1945 Movie: How To Make People Think That Your Marriage Is Perfect?

Sunday, September 11, 2016
(*Warning for possible spoilers for Conflict, a 1945 black-and-white suspense film noir made by Warner Brothers)

Conflict (1945) is a murder mystery that tells the story of an engineer, named Richard Mason (played by Humphrey Bogart), who kills his own wife, Kathryn Mason (played by Rose Hobart). Will he be apprehended for this evil deed or has he actually managed to commit the perfect crime?

A loveless marriage

conflict 1945 murder mystery movie, richard mason, kathryn mason
Considering how Richard plots to and actually succeeds in killing his wife, it should be obvious to anyone that he doesn’t love his wife and that he couldn’t care less about her.

To the audience, this is very much true. We are shown how the couple acts around each other, how Kathryn nags Richard and accuses him of falling in love with her little sister, Evelyn Turner (played by Alexis Smith), and how Richard doesn’t bother to correct her or deny her accusation.

Only the audience knows the truth about the Mason marriage

But, while the imperfections and the problems in the Mason marriage is very much visible and known to the Conflict movie viewers, the other characters in the film are absolutely clueless regarding this matter.

The other characters, like Evelyn and Doctor Mark Hamilton (played by Sydney Greenstreet), a very good friend of the Masons, are not privy to the details that we see and know.

They don’t get to see the Masons when it’s just the two of them, so they only have their public appearances and how they act and interact with each other in the presence of other people to base their assumption or presupposition on what the Masons’ married life is like.

The contrast between what these characters think is going on and what is really going on is striking, to say the east.

Everyone believes that the Masons are so in love with each other and that their married life is perfect. We even hear Evelyn saying that she admires the married couple and would also like to meet a guy like Richard.

Is the Mason marriage believable in Conflict?

It makes you wonder how Richard and Kathryn were able to fool everyone. How did they manage this? Is it because they’re such good actors?

If you really look at it though, it didn’t seem like the 2 were really exerting all that much effort in keeping up the façade that their marriage was nothing less than perfect. So how were they able to keep everyone from guessing the real truth about their marriage and just how much of a failure it was? What do you think about this?

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki (CC:BY-SA) based on the image by CoDLia (CC:BY-SA) from deviantArt
- Figures in the image are meant to represent Richard and Kathryn Mason since the 2 look like they may or may not be a couple
- YouTube video features the trailer for the Conflict movie

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