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Still image from The Man with the Box in Movie Makers, Dec. 1952, 323.

Date produced: 1952


James L. Watson

Production credits:




275 ft





Sound Notes:



With sound on tape


ACL Ten Best 1952


"A teen-aged girl — whose imagination has been excited by murder headlines in the local paper — and a mysterious new boarder in her mother's home are the ingredients of The Man With The Box, a superlative melodrama by James L. Watson. For here is as hair-raising a thriller as you could want to see. Mr. Watson tells his story through the interplay of image and counterimage, without benefit of dialog, and he tells it simply and well. Taut and well paced, the film should hold any audience in suspense-filled excitement from its quiet and clearly stated beginning right up to the shock of its logical and terrifying conclusion. The small cast has been cunningly chosen and wisely directed. The players, Cathy Moss as the inquisitive young girl and John Dowell as the strange boarder, give restrained yet moving performances, sustaining the film's mood admirably. The accompanying score not only complements the story line: it becomes, excitingly, an integral part of it. The Man With The Box returns to the first principles of the silent cinema with rewarding vitality." Movie Makers, Dec. 1952, 399-400.


Discussed by Watson in "History of a Mystery" (Movie Makers, Aug. 1953, 210-211, 221-222). The article describes the film's origins and production. Production stills are shown.

Record of the film on BFI.

The film was included in a screening package titled: The ACL Presents "The Top of the Ten Best," made available through the ACL Club Film Library in 1953 (Movie Makers, Feb. 1953, 30). The premiere screening of this program is chronicled in "World Premiere in Washington!" (Movie Makers, May 1953, 125). Screenings of this program include a "TTB" note in the "Screenings" field below.






  • Screened by the Hartford Cinema Club in December of 1952: Hartford, CT
  • Screened (TTB) by the Washington Society of Cinematographers in 1953: Washington, D.C.
  • Screened (TTB) by the Metro Movie Club in 1953: River Park, IL
  • Screened (TTB) by the Kankakee Camera Club in 1953: Kankakee, IL
  • Screened (TTB) by the Oklahoma City Movie Makers in 1953: Oklahoma City, OK
  • Screened (TTB) by the Associated Amateur Cinema Clubs in 1953 : Chicago, IL
  • Screened (TTB) by the Franklin County Camera Club in 1953: Greenfield, MA
  • Screened (TTB) by the Greater Denver Cinema League in 1953 : Denver, CO
  • Screened (TTB) by the Amateur Motion Picture Society of Denver in 1953: Denver, CO
  • Screened (TTB) by the Los Angeles 8mm. Club in 1953: Los Angeles, CA
  • Screened (TTB) by the Omaha Movie Club in 1953: Omaha, NE
  • Screened (TTB) by the Big Lake Cine Club in 1953 : Big Lake, TX
  • Screened (TTB) by the Golden Gate Cinematographers in 1953 : San Francisco, CA
  • Screened (TTB) by the Indianapolis Amateur Movie Club in 1953 : Indianapolis, IN
  • Screened (TTB) by the Kenosha Movie & Slide Club in 1953 : Kenosha, WI
  • Screened (TTB) by the Los Angeles Cinema Club in 1953 : Los Angeles, CA
  • Screened (TTB) by the Color Camera Club in 1953 : Waterloo, IA
  • Screened (TTB) by the Central Texas Camera Club in 1953: Central Texas, TX
  • Screened (TTB) by the Southwest Movie Makers Guild in 1953 : Houston, TX
  • Screened (TTB) by the Long Beach Cinema Club in 1953: Long Beach, CA
  • Screened (TTB) by the Amateur Movie Club of San Diego in 1953: San Diego, CA
  • Screened (TTB) by the Detroit Cinema Club in 1953: Detroit, MI
  • Screened (TTB) by the Niles Movie Club in 1953: Niles, MI
  • Screened (TTB) by the Boston Camera Club in 1953: Boston, MA

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