Life for Ruth (1962)

vt Walk in the Shadow
UK / 88 minutes / bw / Saracen, Allied Film Makers, Rank Dir: Basil Dearden Pr: Michael Relph Scr: Janet Green, James McCormick Cine: Otto Heller Cast: Michael Craig, Patrick McGoohan, Janet Munro, Paul Rogers, Malcolm Keen, Megs Jenkins, Michael Bryant, Leslie Sands, Norman Wooland, John Barrie, Walter Hudd, Michael Aldridge, Basil Dignam, Maureen Pryor, Kenneth J. Warren, Ellen McIntosh, Frank Finlay, John Welsh, Maurice Colbourne, Freddy Ramsay, Lynn Taylor.

When little Ruth Harris (Taylor) is badly injured in a seaside accident, the hospital’s Dr. Jim Brown (McGoohan) tells the eight-year-old’s parents, John (Craig) and Pat (Munro), that she’ll die if she doesn’t have a blood transfusion. Harris, a devoted member of a fundamentalist sect, refuses to let her have one:

Jim: “Religion? What’s religion got to do with it? A transfusion will save her life!”
Harris: “It will deny her everlasting life.”

Sacrificed on the rock of her father’s narcissism, Ruth dies. Jim considers Harris a murderer, and Pat, who’s pretended to share Harris’s beliefs for the sake of her love for him, comes to a similar view. Likewise her parents, Ken (Barrie) and Mrs. Gordon (Jenkins). In fact, just about the only person who believes Harris did the right thing is his father (Keen), also a member of the sect.

Janet Munro as Pat Harris and Michael Craig as her husband John.

Michael Aldridge as Dr. Richard Harvard (left) and Patrick McGoohan as Dr. Jim Brown.

But the cops, in the form of Superintendent Finlay (Warren), aren’t prepared to do anything about it, even though Jim Continue reading

Man in the Road, The (1957)

UK / 83 minutes / bw / Gibraltar, Grand National Dir: Lance Comfort Pr: Charles A. Leeds Scr: Guy Morgan Story: He Was Found in the Road (1952) by Anthony Armstrong Cine: Stan Pavey, Eric Besche Cast: Derek Farr, Ella Raines, Donald Wolfit, Lisa Danielly, Karel Stepanek, Cyril Cusack, Olive Sloane, Bruce Beeby, Russell Napier, Frederick Piper, John Welsh, Alfred Maron.

Man in the Road - 0 opener

Dr. James Paxton (Farr), a prominent scientist (although his specialty’s never identified), is out driving a country lane at night when, turning a corner, he finds a man lying in the middle of the road. He gets out to offer help, whereupon he’s immediately knocked unconscious. His clothes are swapped with those of the dead man, whose corpse is put into Paxton’s car and the vehicle set alight.

Days or longer later, we find him waking in a nursing home, Downview Hall, near Medworth, run by the sinister Professor Cattrell (Wolfit). Cattrell and his staff—Dr. Manning (Beeby) and the saucy Nurse Mitzi (Danielly)—use a mixture of drugs, hypnosis and, in Mitzi’s case, blandishment to persuade him that he’s really a faceless accountant called Ivan Mason, found lying in the middle of a country road having obviously been run down in a hit-and-run accident. “Ivan” is persuaded—especially by Mitzi, with whom he becomes infatuated and who pretends to reciprocate the feeling—that, yes, indeed he must be suffering amnesia after his accident.

Man in the Road - 1 Dr Cattrell & his hypnotic cig lighter

Dr. Cattrell (Donald Wolfit) wields his hypnotic cigarette lighter.

It doesn’t strike Ivan as strange that Cattrell is going to odd lengths to try to reconstruct his past, such as ferrying out from London Ivan’s supposed old Continue reading