23 user 3 critic

The Sign of the Ram (1948)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller | 3 March 1948 (USA)
The wheelchair-bound matriarch of an English family uses her handicap to cynically manipulate all those around her. She coldly destroys a daughter's relationship with a man she truly loves,... See full summary »


John Sturges


Charles Bennett (screenplay), Margaret Ferguson (novel)


Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Adventure | Thriller | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A group of treasure hunters search for a wagon load of gold, buried years before in Death Valley.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Randolph Scott, Ella Raines, William Bishop
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Geoffrey Holden is an elderly conman who is a lovable old man when providing his beloved granddaughter with the simple luxuries of life, yet has no qualms when working a racket devised to ... See full summary »

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Michael Duane, Trudy Marshall, Lloyd Corrigan
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Michael Worthington, an elderly owner of an apiary, befriends an embittered artist, Jamie McFarlaine, who is seeking a divorce from his wife. Jamie falls in love with Alice, but the romance... See full summary »

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Michael Duane, Gloria Henry, Harry Davenport
Shadowed (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Fred J. Johnson (Lloyd Corrigan) scores a hole-in-one but his next drive, using the lucky, initialed golf ball, soars out of bounds and lands near a spot where some counterfeiters are ... See full summary »

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Anita Louise, Lloyd Corrigan, Michael Duane
The Capture (1950)
Crime | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A badly injured fugitive explains to a priest how he came to be in his present predicament.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Lew Ayres, Teresa Wright, Victor Jory
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A crusading reporter plans his own arrest and conviction for first degree murder, trying to show that the death sentence should be outlawed when based on circumstantial evidence alone, but his plan goes awry.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Leslie Brooks, George Macready, Forrest Tucker
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Biography of celebrated American jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Louis Calhern, Ann Harding, Eduard Franz
Kind Lady (1951)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Mary Herries has a passion for art and fine furniture. Even though she is getting on in years, she enjoys being around these priceless articles. One day she meets a strange young painter ... See full summary »

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Ethel Barrymore, Maurice Evans, Angela Lansbury
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The first female doctor in New York City comes up against prejudice from male counterparts who feel threatened by her skills. Eventually, though, they come to respect her and romance ... See full summary »

Director: John Sturges
Stars: June Allyson, Arthur Kennedy, Gary Merrill
Best Man Wins (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Jim Smiley has a frog that can jump further than anyone else's frog, and Jim becomes obsessed with entering the frog in all of the local jumping-frog contests, not realizing that his obsession is about to cost him his marriage.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Edgar Buchanan, Anna Lee, Robert Shayne
Jeopardy (1953)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A family vacationing on the coast of Mexico have to cope with multiple threats to their safety.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Barry Sullivan, Ralph Meeker
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Jim Curtayne, formerly a successful defense attorney who is now a recovering alcoholic, attempts a comeback when he defends a neighbor's son facing a homicide charge.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Pat O'Brien, Diana Lynn


Cast overview:
Susan Peters ... Leah St. Aubyn
Alexander Knox ... Mallory St. Aubyn
Phyllis Thaxter ... Sherida Binyon
Peggy Ann Garner ... Christine St. Aubyn
Ron Randell ... Dr. Simon Crowdy
May Whitty ... Clara Brastock (as Dame May Whitty)
Allene Roberts ... Jane St. Aubyn
Ross Ford ... Logan St. Aubyn
Diana Douglas ... Catherine Woolton


The wheelchair-bound matriarch of an English family uses her handicap to cynically manipulate all those around her. She coldly destroys a daughter's relationship with a man she truly loves, and her machinations almost drive the son's fiance to suicide. As the family realizes what she is doing, she becomes even more calculating - and mentally unbalanced. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Incredible evil!


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

3 March 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Destino Cruel See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Among the well-wishers who visited Susan Peters on the set were Glenn Ford, Evelyn Keyes, Larry Parks, Ginger Rogers and Cornel Wilde, all of whom were under contract to or working at Columbia at the time. See more »


[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Gothic Sleeper
22 September 2007 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Intense psychological drama of the type so popular at the time. Scheming Leah (Susan Peters) is wheel-chair bound in a houseful of young women; so of course we're all initially sympathetic, but then events begin to unfold. The movie is generally under-rated by the professionals, perhaps because the material sizes up as a "woman's picture". Nonetheless, it's a broodingly atmospheric production, well-acted and superbly directed. Since events take place in and around a single sea-side mansion, keeping the audience engaged becomes a challenge. Thus direction, acting and set design take on more than usual importance. I'm rather surprised that the normally budget-minded and outdoorsy Columbia studio responds as well as it does. Note how beautifully composed each frame is-- director Sturges' very real artistic eye is already in evidence, well before his celebrated conquest of wide-screen Cinemascope. Even the process shots (always a tricky challenge) of a roiling surf are expertly done, adding greatly to the sinister mood. (In passing-- there's a 10 second shot two-thirds of the way through of Phyllis Thaxter standing at a window, exulting in Logan's departure. A brief scene like this could have easily been done in spartan fashion. But notice how artistically this passing shot is both mounted and composed. It's touches like this that add up to a memorable production.) If I'm going on about the technical side, it's because this obscure little film more than most exemplifies studio craftsmanship at its 40's best.

The plot itself provides the tragically star-crossed Peters with her final film role, and she's excellent in a carefully modulated performance that could have easily gone over the top. Notice how expressively she uses her hands and fingers to suggest repressed inner feelings as she navigates through a house full of surging hormones. (I wonder how much of the real person crippled by a hunting accident is in that performance.) On the other hand, Alexander Knox as her husband strikes me as a shade too old and too stolid, but maybe he's supposed to be. The young couple, Logan and Catherine (Diana Douglas) are appropriately callow, while Douglas brings off her big scene with Peters in convincing fashion, a difficult challenge. Too bad that fine actress Phyllis Thaxter is given little more to do than stand around and look helpful as the "other woman". For those whose imagination tends to take over, it's perhaps not a stretch to think of the film as Leah's final few moments before going over the edge. Considering the movie's claustrophobic setting, a strictly "mental" dimension seems not far-fetched. However that may be, the film is a real sleeper, unfortunately under-rated, and well worth a look see, especially on a foggy night.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 23 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed