Hangover Square 
 film noir directed by John Brahm
based on the novel Hangover Square (1941) by Patrick Hamilton
The screenplay was written by BarrĂ© Lyndon who made a number of changes to the novel, including the change of George Harvey Bone into a classical composer-pianist and filming the story as an early 20th-century period piece.
The movie was released in New York City on February 7, 1945, 
two months after its star, Laird Cregar, suffered a fatal heart attack.
Laird Cregar, a fan of the original novel, encouraged 20th Century Fox to buy the film rights. Fox relented, but wanted to recreate the success they had enjoyed with The Lodger the previous year and made several changes to the story, including the main character's personality and the setting. Cregar, George Sanders and John Brahm, who had all worked together in The Lodger, were announced as working on the film.
Cregar, who had ambitions of being a leading man and was worried that he would always be cast as a villain, refused the role and was put on suspension. Glenn Langan was announced as his replacement.
 However, Cregar realized he could use his romantic scenes with Linda Darnell and Faye Marlowe to his advantage in order to change his public image into a more romantic one. He thus accepted the role, but began a radical crash diet to give his character more physical appeal.
The film had to be shot entirely in sequence so as to be consistent with Cregar's real life weight loss.
This frustrated director John Brahm, who frequently clashed with Cregar over how the film should be handled. Cregar, a real-life musician, was eager to perform the musical pieces on his own; however, Brahm insisted that Cregar mime. Cregar used amphetamines to aid his rapid weight loss which led to erratic behavior on his part. Brahm lost patience with Cregar and forced the entire cast and crew to sign a document stating they were on Brahm's side and not Cregar's in order to humiliate him into submission. 
When the filming had ended, Cregar told Brahm: "Well, I think we've worked together long enough to know we never want to work together again."

George Sanders also brought complications. Having been put on suspension the previous year for refusing to perform in The Undying Monster, George accepted the role of Dr. Allan Middleton. However, he was unhappy with his script, particularly the final line in the film, which required him to justify the death of George Harvey Bone by saying, "He's better off this way." When shooting the scene, which was very expensive to film, George repeatedly refused to say the line. He later got into an altercation with the film's producer, Robert Bassler, which ended in George punching Bassler. The line was later changed to, "It's better this way."
American composer Stephen Sondheim has cited Herrmann's score for Hangover Square as a major influence on his musical Sweeney Todd


  1. Those who have read the gripping original novel by Patrick Hamilton (author of ROPE and GASLIGHT) will know that Cregar was physically perfect casting. Why on earth they shifted the period of the story away from the eve of WW2 is baffling, unless they thought a costume drama would be easier to market. Has anyone seen the film or know if it's available anywhere ?

  2. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/aug/06/patrick-hamilton-hangover-square-world-slide-abyss-rereading