Tuesday, July 23, 2002


This is a very good British film whch I'm surprised doesn't have a stronger reputation given its narrative structure that resembles RASHOMON, released the same year. A British actress I'd never heard of, Jean Kent, was quite good as a young and attractive woman with aspirations to work in show business but who makes a living as a fortune teller. When the film begins, she is found murdered in her home. The rest of the film consists of the police investigation. Each person the police talk to tells a different story about Kent, and we see a totally different side to her personality in each flashback. Kent gets to play the same character in several different ways and she does a great job. Hermione Baddeley is a standout as a nosy neighbor who thought of Kent as a real lady who had fallen on hard times. Dirk Bogarde, quite young and handsome, is an ex-love interest who she is actually more interested in for his show business connections than for him. Bogarde sees her in a much harsher light, quite the opposite of Baddeley. Charles Victor plays a neighboring pet shop owner, who acts as a handyman for Kent and dotes on her, seeing her as delicate and refined. There are other flashbacks as well, and the police have to figure out what's what to find the killer. It's not exactly Hitchcockian; the building of suspense is not as important here as the relatively light tone and the shifting picture we get of Kent. I found this one at the library and I'd highly recommend it.

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