21 November 2012 8:17 AM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

"I felt the past closing around me like a fog, filling me with a nameless fear..."

A cinema tragedy: the phrase can probably best be exemplified by the fact that Charles Laughton directed only one film, and that film is so great that one can only wonder at what we've been deprived of.

Another actor, Martin Gabel, a character thesp with a bulbous head and a genuine talent for playing creeps, likewise directed one film only: the blacklist put paid to his career. The level of tragedy is harder to assess, since Gabel's only movie as director is very good, but not a masterpiece on the level of Night of the Hunter. But The Lost Moment (1947) is mysterious, romantic, atmospheric and altogether intriguing; and if Gabel were set to build on this starting point and improve still further, we may well have been deprived of a truly major cinematic talent. »

- David Cairns

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