IMDb > Man Bait (1952)

Man Bait (1952) More at IMDbPro »The Last Page (original title)


Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Frederick Knott (screenplay)
James Hadley Chase (original story)
Contact:
View company contact information for Man Bait on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 January 1952 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Blonde Blackmail! See more »
Plot:
The married owner of a bookstore is attracted to his sexy blonde clerk. He finally gives in to temptation and makes a pass at her, but that only results in him getting enmeshed in blackmail and murder. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
NewsDesk:
(23 articles)
Comic Review: Arkham Manor #1
 (From Cinelinx. 30 October 2014, 5:16 AM, PDT)

[Comic Execution] 10/17 – Prometheus, The Evil Within, The Storyteller
 (From Destroy the Brain. 17 October 2014, 6:27 AM, PDT)

Entertainment Geekly: The Batman Top 100
 (From EW.com - PopWatch. 29 September 2014, 7:00 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
J. A. Pearson's Bookstore: Home to blackmail, secret passions and murder. See more (11 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
George Brent ... John Harman
Marguerite Chapman ... Stella Tracy
Raymond Huntley ... Clive Oliver
Peter Reynolds ... Jeffrey Hart
Eleanor Summerfield ... Vi
Meredith Edwards ... Inspector Dale
Harry Fowler ... Joe

Diana Dors ... Ruby Bruce
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sybil Saxon ... Bank Clerk (scenes deleted)
Nelly Arno ... Miss Rosetti (uncredited)
Eleanor Bryan ... Mary Lewis (uncredited)
Isabel Dean ... May Harman (uncredited)
Archie Duncan ... Police Constable (uncredited)
Jack Faint ... Club Manager (uncredited)
Harold Goodwin ... Frank the Waiter (uncredited)
David Keir ... Mr. Quince (uncredited)
John Mann ... Jack (uncredited)
Lawrence O'Madden ... First Customer (uncredited)
Conrad Phillips ... Detective Todd (uncredited)
Lawrence Ward ... Larry (uncredited)
Leslie Weston ... Mr. Bruce (uncredited)
Ian Wilson ... Mushroom Book Customer (uncredited)

Directed by
Terence Fisher 
 
Writing credits
Frederick Knott (screenplay)

James Hadley Chase (original story)

Produced by
Anthony Hinds .... producer
 
Original Music by
Frank Spencer 
 
Cinematography by
Walter J. Harvey  (as Walter Harvey)
 
Film Editing by
Maurice Rootes 
 
Casting by
Michael Carreras 
 
Art Direction by
Andrew Mazzei 
 
Makeup Department
Philip Leakey .... makeup artist (as Phil Leakey)
Anne Box .... hair stylist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Arthur Barnes .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jimmy Sangster .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Bill Salter .... sound engineer
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Tom Friswell .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Harry Oakes .... focus puller (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Joy Curtis .... wardrobe
 
Music Department
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra .... music played by
Frank Spencer .... musical director
 
Other crew
Renée Glynne .... continuity (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Last Page" - UK (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
84 min | USA:78 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
This was the first Hammer film directed by Terence Fisher.See more »
Goofs:
Plot holes: Where does Jeffery Hart get a key to open the case to try and steal a rare book?See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
6 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
J. A. Pearson's Bookstore: Home to blackmail, secret passions and murder., 17 May 2012
Author: The-Spike from United Kingdom

The Last Page (AKA: Man Bait) is directed by Terence Fisher and adapted to screenplay by Frederick Knott from James Hadley Chase's story. It stars George Brent, Marguerite Chapman, Raymond Huntley, Peter Reynolds and Diana Dors. Music is by Frank Spencer and cinematography by Walter J. Harvey.

John Harman (Brent) is a London bookshop manager who finds himself blackmailed by his busty young assistant, Ruby Bruce (Dors), and her new ex-convict beau Jeffrey Hart (Reynolds), when he foolishly steals in for a kiss during after hours stock taking.

Bookshop Noir.

British Hammer and American Exclusive teamed up to produce a number of low budget crime dramas in the early 1950s, often using American stars and directors blended in with British actors, they were produced in Britain in next to no time. The Last Page is a safe viewing for the undemanding film noir fan. Terence Fisher would become a legend amongst British horror fans (rightly so) for his work on Hammer's reinvention of the Universal Creature Features. Here he crafts a nifty atmospheric melodrama without fuss or filler, while just about managing to stop the flaws and daftness of plotting from sinking the picture.

Story has some interesting noirish characters and themes. The man who begins to pay for a moment of weakness, the young shapely gal in over her head-lured to the dark half by a well spoken criminal element, while some secret passions amongst the staff of this particular bookstore come to the fore once things inevitably go pear shaped. The setting is a doozy as well, this bookstore is perfectly antiquated, so much so you can smell the leather bound novels nestling on the shelves. Walter Harvey's (The Quatermass Experiment) photography ensures that shadows feature throughout, and there's the odd macabre touch that befits the writing of Frederick Knott (Dial M for Murder/Wait Until Dark).

Cast are professional to the last. Brent (The Spiral Staircase) and Huntley (I See a Dark Stranger/Night Train to Munich) are the epitome of gentlemen in a rut, stoic and stiff, grumpy yet gritty, but nicely portraying men we expect to appear in a bookstore noir. Chapman (Coroner Creek) has an abundance of hard looking sexuality and Reynolds has a spiv nastiness about him, very cold but charming. But it's Dors who holds all the aces, she would impress herself upon many a red blooded male during three decades of British film and TV. Here at aged 21, as Ruby, she's a curvy blonde babe with full lips, a gal who understandably turns the heads. The character is tardy as well, hardly a crime, but mostly in Dors' hands she's believable as a girl clearly out of her depth, she's not a femme fatale, she's a weak willed person hurtling towards film noir doom. It's here where this British B noir gets its worth.

It's not a great film by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a good one considering the modest budget afforded it. There's dumb decisions made by characters, holes of plotting and the ending fails to seal the deal after the hard noirish mood eked out by Fisher, Harvey and Dors. However, as film noir time fillers go, it's well worth checking out. 6.5/10

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