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When their ship docks the crew disembark as usual to pick up their lives in postwar London. For one of them his petty smuggling turns more serious when he finds himself caught up with a robbery in the City.
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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