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Jim Ackland, who suffers from a head injury sustained in a bus crash, is the chief suspect in a murder hunt, when a girl that he has just met is found dead on the local common, and he has no alibi for the time she was killed. Written by
Mike Wilson <Mike.Wilson6@btinternet.com>
I first heard of this 1947 British film in one of Leslie Halliwell's books. Written by Eric Ambler and directed by Roy Baker, it's kind of a British answer to Hollywod's noir, essentially a reworking of Grahame Greene's Ministry Of Fear. Chemist (and I do mean "chemist", not pharmacist or apothecary) John Mills blames himself for the death a friend's daughter in a bus crash, which also gives Mills a concussion and tendencies towards blackouts and amnesia. Quicker than you can say "Alfred Hitchcock" Mills is accused of murdering a fellow resident of his boarding house, and poor old John can't remember if he did it or not. What's most fascinating to me is the subtext -- Mills is clearly supposed to represent returning war veterans, but the film's makers were too afraid to have war wounds be the source of his blackouts (even though H'wood had already done it in The Blue Dahlia) and instead resorted to the bus crash contrivance. There is effective direction by Baker (who went to H'wood and made the classic 3D "depthie" Inferno, later returning to England to do A Night To Remember) and Ambler's script is good, with a few surprise scattered throughout.
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