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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>
The superb John Mills plays a man with a history of emotional imbalance. He moves into a rooming house peopled by the sorts who might be charming in a Barbara Pym novel. Here they are increasingly less charming: There's the classic nosy landlady. There's an elderly resident who begs for more coal on the fire: The way she's written to do this made me think of a leitmotif from an Eliot poem.
There's a homely bachelor; there's an attractive young woman involved with a married man. And, there are assorted eccentrics thrown in as well.
Mills meets Joan Greenwood, she of the dark, husky voice. And a murder takes place.
That's all I will say, lest I give anything at all away: Try hard to see this little beauty of a film, knowing as little of the plot in advance as I did. Indeed, before today, I had never heard of it.
If it were an American film of this period it would be called a film noir. It has all the elements but I don't think I'd call it one. It's a psychological thriller, a mystery.
The secondary roles are cast superbly in every case. It's tense, filled with fascinating characters -- it lacks almost nothing. And the two stars could scarcely be better.
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