The Naked Edge (1961)

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A tense little psychological thriller — and it’s Gary Cooper’s last movie!
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UK, US / 97 minutes / bw / Glass–Seltzer, Pennebaker–Baroda, UA Dir: Michael Anderson Pr: Walter Seltzer, George Glass Scr: Joseph Stefano Story: First Train to Babylon (1955) by Max Ehrlich Cine: Erwin Hillier Cast: Gary Cooper, Deborah Kerr, Eric Portman, Diane Cilento, Hermione Gingold, Peter Cushing, Michael Wilding, Ronald Howard, Ray McAnally, Sandor Elès, Wilfrid Lawson, Helen Cherry, Joyce Carey, Diane Clare, Frederick Leister, Martin Boddey, Peter Wayn.

Six years ago, Jason Roote (Boddey), owner and CEO of the Jason Roote Air Freight Corporation, was stabbed to death one night in his office. Only two other employees were on the premises that evening, doing overtime: sales manager George “Cliffe” Radcliffe (Cooper) and lowlier staffer Donald Heath (McAnally). Cliffe heard Roote’s death cry and saw the murderer running away; he and a cop (uncredited) gave chase and Continue reading

Too Hot to Handle (1960)

vt Playgirl After Dark
UK / 93 minutes / color / Wigmore, ABPC, Warner-Pathé Dir: Terence Young Pr: C.P. Hamilton Marshall Scr: Herbert Kretzmer Story: Harry Lee (idea) Cine: Otto Heller Cast: Jayne Mansfield, Leo Genn, Carl Boehm (i.e., Karlheinz Böhm), Danik Patisson, Christopher Lee, Kai Fischer, Patrick Holt, Martin Boddey, Sheldon Lawrence, Barbara Windsor, John Salew, Tom Bowman, Ian Fleming, Penny Morrell, Katherine Keeton, Susan Denny, Judy Bruce, Elizabeth Wilson, Shari Khan, Bill McGuffie, Michael Balfour, Larry Taylor, June Elvin, Morton Lowry, Martin Sterndale, Harry Lane, Robin Chapman.

Too Hot to Handle 0 opener

Gentleman Johnny Solo (Genn) runs the upscale Pink Flamingo strip club in London’s Soho, directly across the road from the Diamond Horseshoe, the joint run by his main rival, Diamonds Dinelli (Lawrence). Johnny’s right-hand man is Novak (Lee); his both-hands woman and chief “exotic dancer” goes under the name of Midnight Franklin (Mansfield), although he often joshingly calls her Twelve O’Clock.

Today he’s hired two new strippers, the schoolteacher-like Marjorie Adams (Denny) and the naive, manifestly underage Stephanie Swanson (Windsor, later to be the bubbly little sexpot in countless Carry On movies), who soon decides that her stage name should be Pony Tail. He also agrees to let a French journalist, Robert Jouvel (Boehm)—wrongly called “Jouvet” in the closing credits—hang around the club for a few days for the purpose of writing an article for a Paris magazine.

Too Hot to Handle 1 Robert does his best to ignore Midnight's rear . . .

Robert (Carl Boehm) does his best to ignore the rear of Midnight (Jayne Mansfield) . . .

Too Hot to Handle 2 . . . but is captivated by Lilliane in rehearsal

. . . but is captivated by Lilliane (Danik Patisson) in rehearsal.

Robert is instantly much taken with one of the strippers, the mysterious Austrian dancer Lilliane Decker (Patisson), who has a touch of tragedy in her eyes and is clearly running from something or someone, because she throws a tantrum when Continue reading

Franchise Affair, The (1951)

UK / 87 minutes / bw / Associated British Dir: Lawrence Huntington Pr: Robert Hall Scr: Robert Hall, Lawrence Huntington Story: The Franchise Affair (1948) by Josephine Tey Cine: Günther Krampf Cast: Michael Denison, Dulcie Gray, Anthony Nicholls, Marjorie Fielding, Athene Seyler, John Bailey, Hy Hazell, Kenneth More, Avice Landone, Maureen Glynne, Peter Jones, Moultrie Kelsall, Ann Stephens, Martin Boddey, John Forrest, Patrick Troughton, Victor Maddern.

Franchise Affair - 0 opener

Made at Elstree, a good adaptation of Tey’s famous novel about the rapid descent of the apparently amiable inhabitants of a sleepy rural town into lynch-mob, witch-hunting mentality. The movie itself is styled to reflect this theme, outwardly having many of the genial trappings of a “cozy” mystery while having at its heart a very steely message indeed.

Teenaged schoolgirl Betty Kane (Stephens) goes missing after visiting an aunt, and turns up a couple of weeks later at her adoptive parents’ home having clearly been beaten. She claims that she spent the intervening period as prisoner of spinster Marion Sharpe (Gray) and her elderly mother (Fielding) at The Franchise, a gloomy old manor on the outskirts of the small town of Melford, somewhere in the Continue reading

Violent Moment (1959)

vt Rebound
UK / 61 minutes / bw / Independent Artists, Anglo–Amalgamated Dir: Sidney Hayers Pr: Bernard Coote Scr: Peter Barnes Story: “A Toy for Jiffy” (1956; Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine) by Roy Vickers Cine: Phil Grindrod Cast: Lyndon Brook, Jane Hylton, Jill Browne, John Paul, Rupert Davies, Moira Redmond, Bruce Seton, Martin Miller, Frederick Piper, Martin Boddey, Gerald Anderson, John Boxer, Leonard White.

Violent Moment - 0 moodsetter

London, soon after the end of WWII, and wastrel Douglas “Doug” Baines (Brook) is wary of the coppers on every corner because he’s an Army deserter. He makes his way as best he can, helping to support his mistress, Daisy Hacker (Hylton), and their infant son Jiffy on what we suspect are generally slim pickings. One day, though, he’s obviously flush because he spends 15/6 (15 shillings and sixpence)—a small fortune in those days—at the toyshop of Jenkins (Piper) on a cackling tumbler-doll clown for Jiffy, upon whom he obviously dotes; indeed, we sense that Doug is really defined by his love for Jiffy. When he gets home, though, it’s to discover that Daisy has sold the child into adoption for twenty pounds. She’s scathing in her estimation of Doug:

“Twenty pound. I suppose you’ll want your cut.”

 And:

“And another thing. You pretending to believe that I got all that money working as a waitress. You’ve got eyes in your head the same as other men. You know perfectly well where that money came from.”

 

Violent Moment - 1 Doug, Daisy & the tumbler doll

Doug (Lyndon Brook) shows Daisy (Jane Hylton) the toy he’s bought for Jiffy.

As he tries to force out of her the name and address of the adoptive parents so he might Continue reading