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Lee J. Cobb
During WW II, one of the hits of the London stage is a play about a murderer who strangles his victims. The actor who plays the strangler identifies so strongly with his part that when he receives a blow to the head during a bombing raid, he believes that he actually is the strangler. Written by
John Loder plays Reginald Parker, an actor whose portrayal of a serial killer has made him the toast of London's theater district. During the height of the german blitz Parker has tirelessly played the part to sold out crowds seeking diversion from the horrors of world war 2.
After nearly two years of constant work Parker is on the brink of exhaustion. When his wife and friends demand he take a break he agrees grudgingly but only after one last performance for on leave military personnel.
That night Parker stays late at the theater to review some last minute additions to the script. As he reads german bombers attack London. A stray bomb strikes the theater causing the roof to collapse on the unfortunate actor. He survives but recieves a nasty blow to the head. The blow gives him partial amnesia allowing him to recall nothing save that of the part he has paractically lived for the last two years.
Believing the details of the script are actual memories he comes to believe he is the Brighton Strangler. So it is off to Brighton where he begins hunting down those who resemble his victims from the play.
The plot is a rather far fetched and the story sags in the middle. But John Loder's tormented transform from kindly actor to maniacal killer makes the film worth a look.
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