Monday, October 13, 2014


Eric Portman returns to England from a lengthy business trip to America, looking forward to reuniting with his wife (Greta Gynt) who has not been as faithful a letter-writer as he hoped. When he gets home, it appears as if she may not have been faithful in other ways; she's not there, and he finds love letters addressed to her from another man, the same man (Dennis Price) that he has seen pictures of her with in tabloid papers, out painting the town red. Portman goes to Price's apartment and begins an elaborate plot which ends with Portman killing Price and making it look like suicide. Of course, as these things will, his plot goes off the rails when his wife and yet another lover show up at Price's apartment before Portman can get away. There are more twists and complications that shout not be spoiled here. I don't think this is really noir, as some claim: Portman is never really sympathetic enough for us to think he's a basically good guy caught in a bad circumstances. He's very good in the role, but he's a bad guy. At one point, when Price realizes that Portman plans to kill him, Price lets him know that Gynt has had other affairs and notes wryly, "You can’t kill all of them"; we see Portman think about that and realize that he might well try. So it's not film noir but it is a somewhat Hitchcockian thriller with a good cast, especially Portman and Gynt, and a plot that is easy to follow but not so easy to predict. Jack Warner is a Scotland Yard inspector, and Hazel Court, who would achieve a level of fame starring in some of Roger Corman's 60s horror films, has a small role. (Pictured is Portman seconds away from strangling Price.) [Netflix streaming]

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