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When well-off aircraft designer Denning finds his daughter's current boyfriend is a nasty character he tries to buy him off, ending up hitting him and causing his death when he falls. Instead of calling the police he dumps the body in a lonely spot on the road to the North, making it look like a hit-and-run accident. Weeks later there is still no report of the body being found, and Denning starts to go to pieces. When he lets his wife into his secret the two start making enquiries, possibly making things worse. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Involuntary manslaughter leads John Mills to drive north
"Mr. Denning Drives North" is a film that combines straight noir in some respects and an amusing or light touch in others. It's neither one of these fully. In the excellent print that I viewed, the photography is strongly noir as are certain aspects of the story.
John Mills, the central figure, is very troubled. He's getting behind in his work and he's irascible. The reason is that he's accidentally killed a suitor of his daughter whom he disapproved of. He then covered up the crime by driving north into the country and dumping the body in a ditch. To befuddle police, he placed an unusual ring on the man's finger. But as time has passed, there is no report of a corpse. Mills is haunted and worried about this, and he's having bad dreams. His wife, Phyllis Calvert, doesn't know yet. His daughter senses something wrong. She's gone on to a new beau, Sam Wanamaker, of her own accord. Once Calvert is told what happened, Mills embarks on his own search for the body in order to put his mind at rest.
The story turns rather droll, even somewhat farcical in places, but maintains suspense too with several twists. Overall, this is an entertaining and well-done picture.
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