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After race horse trainer Gerald Coates' horse wins the Grand National, his wife come home drunk, and the two of them have a violent argument, and she is accidentally killed. Coates insists ... See full summary »
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Michael C. Chorlton
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Ray Charles attempts to help a down-on-their-luck boozing family whose son is blind. He wants to finance the recovery of his eye-sight, but the family is afraid what might happen if something goes wrong.
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On the run from her murderous wartime partner in crime Hermann, Lora hides on a small cargo boat captained by heroic Rolf. The crew of three, Georg, Dina and Braun, quickly accepts her. But, both Hermann and the police are on her trail.
Fine Brit-noir sparked by tight story and direction
The version I watched ran almost 76 minutes, not 85 minutes, and ended abruptly. It's missing the final reel, which is a shame because this is a superior noir both in story and cinematography.
Among the fine cast is Canadian-born Arthur Hill who had not yet moved to America. Sydney Tafler and Laurence Harvey do their usual superior work. Harvey was 3 years into his career while Tafler had a full 10 years experience. The female lead was handled more than capably by Kathleen Byron whose career spanned 1938-2001.
Director Lewis Gilbert made excellent use of locations. He later directed such noirs as The Good Die Young and Cast a Dark Shadow.
The story is well-constructed because its source is a play. The mature Tafler, a Cambridge graduate and now a jewel thief, befriends the coarse, youthful, immature (but not with ladies), and emotional Harvey, who has saved his life. Tafler needs a strong right arm. Harvey wants the experience and good life that Tafler offers.
They rob a jewel in Cambridge. Forced to flee, they take refuge on the college grounds and are taken in by a master who remembers Tafler. Needless to say, a good many complications arise out of this setup.
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