Night Won’t Talk, The (1952)

UK / 59 minutes / bw / Corsair, Associated British-Pathé Dir: Daniel Birt Pr: Harold Richmond Scr: Brock Williams Story: Roger Burford Cine: Brendon Stafford (i.e., Brendan Stafford) Cast: Hy Hazell, John Bailey, Mary Germaine, Ballard Berkeley, Elwyn Brook-Jones, Grey Blake, Duncan Lamont, Sarah Lawson, Leslie Weston, Helen Burls, Raymond Young, Susan Pearson.

Night Won't Talk - 0 opener

A surprisingly well made filler for its time, boosted by some excellent acting, this isn’t precisely a hidden gem but it certainly has nothing to be ashamed of.

In the London borough of Chelsea, artists’ model Stella Smith (Pearson) is strangled one night in her bed by a hooded intruder. The next day the newspapers are full of the story. Called in to investigate, Inspector West (Berkeley) and his sidekick Sergeant Robbie Robertson (Lamont) of the Yard soon find that Stella wasn’t quite the angel people made her out to be.

Night Won't Talk - 1 West and Robertson

The Yard’s Inspector West (Ballard Berkeley) and his sidekick Sergeant Robbie Robertson (Duncan Lamont) light up their pipes and swing into action.

We’ve learned this already. One of the artists who often employed her, Kenneth Wills (Blake), laments her death to his landlady, Mrs. Vincent (Burls), solely in terms of his being halfway through an illustration that he may now have to scrap if he can’t find a similar model. Another model, Hazel Carr (Germaine), declares to her flatmate Sue (Lawson) that she for one isn’t going to mourn Stella’s passing because the woman stole out from under her not just modelling jobs but the affections of famous artist Clayton “Clay” Hawkes (Bailey).

Hazel: I’m going to cash in on everything she’s left behind. I’ve inherited it.
Sue: Well, I hope you don’t inherit her murderer.

We find Clay drinking his breakfast at The Dale, the pub where Continue reading

Floating Dutchman, The (1952)

UK / 76 minutes / bw / Merton Park Dir & Scr: Vernon Sewell Pr: William H. Williams Story: The Floating Dutchman (1950) by Nicolas Bentley Cine: Jo(sef) Ambor Cast: Dermot Walsh, Sydney Tafler, Mary Germaine, Guy Verney, Hugh Morton, Nicolas Bentley, Arnold Marlé, Derek Blomfield, Ian Wilson, James Raglan, Orest Olaff, Ken Midwood.

Floating Dutchman - 0 opener

One never expected masterpieces from Merton Park, but their cut-price fillers did have their charms—they offered an enjoyable way to spend an hour or so even if they tended to be forgotten within minutes of the A-feature starting. The movies in the long EDGAR WALLACE MYSTERIES series (1960–64) were typical of the studio’s output; even at the time it was the series’ theme tune (written by Michael Carr) that really stuck in the mind, far less so the movies themselves. The Floating Dutchman is one of the better Merton Park offerings, and benefits from having the under-recognized Sydney Tafler in a principal role, plus Arnold Marlé and Ian Wilson among the support. And it’s certainly more memorable than many a Merton Park item: I must have been a child when I last saw the movie, because I can remember being devastated by a particular incident toward the end, yet the very fact that, decades later, I could remember this and occasional other incidents—and the performances of Marlé and Wilson—is testament in itself.

Floating Dutchman - 4 Victor

The great Sydney Tafler as club owner and criminal kingpin Victor Skinner.

A body is fished out of the Thames. The cops, as we learn when Inspector Cathie (Morton) briefs his boss, Gwynn (Raglan), swiftly discover that the man died from a bash on the head, not from drowning, and, thanks to an inquiry from the Dutch police, that he was a shady jeweler called Martinus Vandermeer. On the body was a card from the nightclub Skinner’s, with, scrawled on the back, the telephone number of notorious fence Otto Krohner (Marlé). By following up on this link, Cathie believes, the Yard might Continue reading