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

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Paper Orchid (1949)

UK / 85 minutes / bw / Ganesh, Columbia Dir: Roy Baker (i.e., Roy Ward Baker) Pr: John R. Sloan Scr: Val Guest, Arthur La Bern Story: Paper Orchid (1948) by Arthur La Bern Cine: Basil Emmott Cast: Hugh Williams, Hy Hazell, Garry Marsh, Sidney James, Ivor Barnard, Andrew Cruickshank, Walter Hudd, Ella Retford, Hughie Green, Vida Hope, Frederick Leister, Vernon Greeves, Patricia Owens, Rolf Lefebvre, Ray Ellington Quartet.

 

Paper Orchid - 0a other opener

Stella Mason (Hazell), whose journalistic credentials are that she’s the daughter of the editor of a provincial newspaper, the Littlehampton Trumpet, bluffs her way into a job at the Daily National on the pretext that she once saw the National’s proprietor, Lord Croup, in Littlehampton with a floozie. Her tale should have gotten her booted out of the National’s offices but, at her interview with widowered Chief Editor Frank “Mac” McSweeney (Williams), it’s evident that she’s caught his eye:

Mac: Tell me, have you had any experience?
Stella: Oh, yes, I’ve had lots of experience.
Mac: Yes, I’m sure you have, but I mean . . . I mean newspaper experience.

Mac takes her on, on probation, for a month, even though he has severe doubts about employing a female journalist: so far as he’s concerned, journalism is a man’s job. The idea that the newspaper industry is infested with this sexist idiocy is reinforced throughout the movie, with even the proprietor’s widow, Lady Croup (Retford), later pronouncing that Continue reading

Case of the Frightened Lady, The (1940)

vt The Frightened Lady; vt The Scarf Murder Mystery

UK / 80 minutes / bw / Pennant, British Lion Dir: George King Pr: S.W. Smith Scr: Edward Dryhurst Story: The Case of the Frightened Lady (1931 play) by Edgar Wallace Cine: Hone Glendinning Cast: Marius Goring, Penelope Dudley Ward, Helen Haye, Felix Aylmer, George Merritt, Ronald Shiner, Patrick Barr, Roy Emerton, George Hayes, John Warwick, Elizabeth Scott, Torin Thatcher.

In a decaying country pile, Mark’s Priory, live the last of the ancient Lebanon lineage, the widowed Lady Lebanon (Haye), her pianist/composer son William “Willie”, Lord Lebanon (Goring), and the latter’s second cousin, Isla Crane (Dudley Ward), who works as Lady Lebanon’s secretary.

There are many peculiarities about the household. For one, the servants are barred from entering the main portion of the house after 8pm, at which time the two sinister footmen Gilder (Emerton) and Brooks (Hayes) take over. For another, the room in which the late Lord Lebanon spent his last years of illness and eventually died is kept permanently locked. A frequent visitor from London is the sinister physician Dr. Lester Charles Amersham (Aylmer), who seems to have some hold over Lady Lebanon and certainly has been extracting large sums of money from her. And someone has just put a bolt on the outside of the bedroom door of Isla Crane—who’s in consequence the (understandably) frightened lady of the title.

The frightened lady . . . with pursuing shadow . . .

Lady Lebanon is urgently intent that her son marry Isla pronto in order to continue the line. Unfortunately for her plans, Continue reading