Fritz Lang was the guiding hand of this laudable Republic Studios melodrama. Louis Hayward stars as a wealthy wastrel who tries to seduce the family maid. She resists, and he kills her. Long jealous of his brother Lee Bowman, Hayward does his best to pin the blame for the murder on his sibling. Also affected by Hayward's arrogant dementia is his long-suffering wife Jane Wyatt. Originally, director Lang had proposed that the unfortunate maid be a black woman, and that the killing take place accidentally during some harmless flirtation on Hayward's part. He was vetoed by the timorous Republic staff (even the slightest hint of miscegenation was taboo in 1950), but House by the River turned out pretty well all the same.