Night to Remember, A (1942)

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Loretta Young and Brian Aherne crack a murder case and some not very good jokes!
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vt Number Thirteen Gay Street; vt The Frightened Stiff
US / 88 minutes / bw / Columbia Dir: Richard Wallace Pr: Samuel Bischoff Scr: Richard Flournoy, Jack Henley Story: The Frightened Stiff (1942) by Kelley Roos Cine: Joseph Walker Cast: Loretta Young, Brian Aherne, Jeff Donnell, William Wright, Sidney Toler, Gale Sondergaard, Donald MacBride, Lee Patrick, Don Costello, Richard Gaines, Blanche Yurka, James Burke, Harry Harvey, Cy Kendall, George Lloyd, George Chandler.

There’s a very famous movie called A Night to Remember. Directed by Roy Ward Baker in 1958, with a screenplay by Eric Ambler, it stars Kenneth More with Geoffrey Bayldon, Honor Blackman, Anthony Bushell, John Cairney, Sean Connery, Kenneth Griffith, Andrew Keir, Frank Lawton, David McCallum, Alec McCowen, Laurence Naismith, Russell Napier, Harold Siddons, Jack Watling and a horde of others, and is regarded as the best extant movie tracing the final hours of the “unsinkable” Titanic, which sank in April 1912 after hitting an iceberg.

This is not that movie.

Nor is it the inauguration of a comedy-crime series to rival the THIN MAN, although there are sufficient resemblances in the setup to make one speculate that this was the intention; here, though, Continue reading

Suspect (1960)

vt The Risk
UK / 78 minutes / bw / Charter, British Lion Dir & Pr: Roy Boulting, John Boulting Scr: Nigel Balchin, Jeffrey Dell, Roy Boulting Story: A Sort of Traitors (1949) by Nigel Balchin Cine: Max Greene Cast: Tony Britton, Virginia Maskell, Peter Cushing, Ian Bannen, Raymond Huntley, Thorley Walters, Donald Pleasence, Spike Milligan, Kenneth Griffith, Robert Bruce, Anthony Booth, Basil Dignam, Brian Oulton, Sam Kydd, Bruce Wightman, Ian Wilson, Murray Melvin, Geoffrey Bayldon, Andre Charise.

Suspect 1960 - 1 Lucy defends Arthur from mischievous chimp Phillips

Scientist Lucy Byrne (Virginia Maskell) protects dimwitted janitor Arthur (Spike Milligan) from skittish chimp Phillips (Phillips).

At the Haughton Research Laboratory in London, a team of scientists under Professor Sewell (Cushing) is coming close to developing a strain of superbugs that could eliminate lethal diseases by preying upon the germs that cause them. Sewell is keen to publish the research, but he’s suddenly called to the office of the Minister of Defence, Sir George Gatting (finely portrayed by Huntley, who had a real genius for playing seedy characters hiding under a veneer of respectability), and told he must keep the work secret in the interests of national security: those bugs could be turned against the UK by a hostile power. Although he’s resentful and tries to make waves by, for example, writing to the President of the Royal Society, Sewell concurs. Gatting sets a special agent of the security services, Prince (Walters), to work with sidekick Slater (Kydd) on making sure the scientists do indeed keep their peace. Prince soon recruits Dr. Frederick Shole (Griffith, in fine fettle), Sewell’s right-hand man, to be his mole within the lab.

Suspect 1960 - 2 Sewell, Shole, Marriott being sciency

Professor Sewell (Peter Cushing), Frederick Shole (Kenneth Griffith) and Bob Marriott (Tony Britton): Ooo, aren’t we sciency?

A hothead junior member of Sewell’s team, Bob Marriott (Britton), has difficulty toeing the official line. Through his assistant Lucy Byrne (Maskell) he meets Continue reading

Tiger Bay (1959)

UK / 102 minutes / bw / Independent Artists, Rank Dir: J. Lee Thompson Pr: John Hawkesworth, Julian Wintle, Leslie Parkyn Scr: John Hawkesworth, Shelley Smith Story: “Rodolphe et le Revolver” (n.d.) by Noël Calef Cine: Eric Cross Cast: John Mills, Horst Buchholz, Hayley Mills, Yvonne Mitchell, Megs Jenkins, Anthony Dawson, Meredith Edwards, Shari, Christopher Rhodes, Kenneth Griffith, George Pastell, George Selway, Marianne Stone, Marne Maitland, Brian Hammond.

After a long stretch at sea, Polish merchant seaman Bronislav “Broni” Korchinsky (Buchholz)—who himself spells his name “Koverzynski”—arrives back in Cardiff docks with £95 back pay in his pocket, intent on proposing to his lover, Anya Haluba (Mitchell). He finds that she’s gone from the flat for which he sent her the rent; it’s now occupied by an evident good-time girl called Christine (Shari). Getting Anya’s new address from seedy landlord Dr. Das (Maitland), Broni goes to have it out with her, en route picking up tomboyish petty pilferer and compulsive liar Gillian “Gillie” Evans (Hayley Mills), who lives in the same block as Anya. There, he finds that Anya has taken up with another man—as we in due course find out, he’s married sports broadcaster Barclay (Dawson). When Anya pulls a gun on Broni they struggle and he takes the weapon from her; moments later, as she shrieks imprecations at him, he shoots her dead in a jealous rage. Watching all this through the flat’s letterbox has been Gillie.

Tiger Bay 1959 - 2 Anya (Yvonne Mitchell) fights fire with fire

Anya (Yvonne Mitchell) fights fire with fire.

Tiger Bay 1959 - 3 Chorister Gillie (Hayley Mills), picture of innocence

Gillie (Hayley Mills) the chorister: butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth, would it?

Gillie manages to steal the gun and its remaining bullet. During a wedding at the church in whose choir she sings, she swaps the bullet with a fellow child-chorister, Dai Parry (Hammond). Broni, who knows that she has witnessed at least part of the crime, has followed her to the church; when everyone else has cleared off after the service he Continue reading