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Film / Caught

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Caught is a 1949 film noir directed by Max Ophuls, starring James Mason, Barbara Bel Geddes, and Robert Ryan.

Leonora Eames (Bel Geddes) is a young woman seeking security by marrying a rich man. She lands one with Smith Ohlig (Ryan), a millionaire industrialist. The only problem is that he can't and won't offer her love in return; Leonora is more his employee than his wife.

Finding this insupportable, Leonora leaves and becomes a receptionist for a Dr. Larry Quinada (Mason) on the Upper East Side in New York. The work is difficult, and she’s lured into Smith’s arms only to find that he’s up to his old tricks again. When she leaves again, she and Dr. Larry fall in love.

A surprise pregnancy brings her back to Smith, but his controlling ways begins to drive Leonora towards a mental breakdown.



  • Asshole Victim: Smith when his pinball game falls on him. He calls out for his wife's help. She doesn’t help him.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Leonora loses her baby but Smith no longer has anything to hold her back. Quinada assures her that she'll recover.
  • The Film of the Book: Adapted by screenwriter Arthur Laurents from Libbie Block's 1946 novel Wild Calendar.
  • GoldDigger: Leonora is a mild one as she convinces herself that she’s in love with Smith before marrying him. She actively tries to have a relationship with him, but he’s the one who refuses to see her as someone that he could love.
  • Murder by Inaction: Only just averted, since Smith doesn't die. But Leonora did let him be crushed under his pinball machine.
  • Not with Them for the Money: Throughout the film, Leonora tries to create this narrative for herself. She was tried to find a rich man to take care of her, but truly fell in love with Ohlig. She tries to make herself feel morally right, but Ohlig sees through this façade and treats her like dirt.
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  • Take That!: Ohlig was Max Ophuls’ fictional take on Howard Hughes.