I Walked with a Zombie (1943) James Ellison, Frances Dee, Tom Conway, Edith Barrett, James Bell Movie Review

I Walked with a Zombie (1943)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Frances Dee in I Walked with a Zombie (1943)

Dead Sleepy

With the attraction of some sunbathing on the beach, nurse Betsy Connell (Frances Dee) takes a job in the West Indies to care for Jessica (Christine Gordon) the sickly wife of Paul Holland (Tom Conway), a plantation owner. On meeting Jennifer Betsy believes she is suffering from some rare paralysis but at the same time finds herself falling for Paul. Believing it would be what Paul wanted if she found a cure for Jessica Betsy seeks help from a voodoo witch doctor.

Usually when it comes to pre 1950 movies the only time you find lots of reviews is when the movie is a recognized classic which has stood the test of time. So when I came across "I Walked with a Zombie" and found it with a surprising amount of reviews I had to wonder why. Reading a few I reckon I know why as the verbose nature of some of these reviews make me wonder whether this is required watching for film students who's reviews focus more on technical aspects rather than whether or not it entertained.

Christine Gordon in I Walked with a Zombie (1943)

Now truth be told "I Walked with a Zombie" did little for me as the end product feels like they took a reasonable mystery storyline and tried to condense it into 69 minutes. In doing so it rightly focused on the mystery surrounding Jennifer and the bitterness Paul's brother-in-law feels towards him. But to achieve this it felt like the bits which made the story flow had been dispensed with and so you have subplots which fill in the gaps but don't really do much.

Not doing much is to be honest how many of the characters come across with only Frances Dee and Christine Gordon making any real impact and that rather shallowly is because they were 1940s beauties who knew how to glow on screen, yes even when being a zombie.

What this all boils down to is that maybe as a movie to study "I Walked with a Zombie" is rich in technical detail but as a piece of entertainment it didn't do it for me which combined with the positive opinions makes it a bit of a curiosity.