The star of a London musical walks out before the curtain up, but the show must go on in a haunted theatre, The Regency. 40 years previously, the star of Hamlet was murdered, and more are dying to keep a dark secret.



(screenplay), (additional dialogue) | 2 more credits »


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Complete credited cast:
Madeleine Peters
Patricia Dainton ...
Tangye Ward
John Bentley ...
Keith Gilbert
Angus McDonald
Olaf Olsen ...
Philip Defoe
Isobel Mayne
Harry Locke ...
Nutty Potts
Betty Baskcomb ...
Olivia Winter
Clifford Brett
Inspector Hinton
Michael Ward ...
Alexander Mayne
Nelly Arno
Hamilton Keene
Betty Hare
Colin Croft ...


The star of a London musical walks out before the curtain up, but the show must go on in a haunted theatre, The Regency. 40 years previously, the star of Hamlet was murdered, and more are dying to keep a dark secret.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

December 1952 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(S.C.F. Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The auditorium scenes for the Regency Theatre were filmed at the former Granville Theatre of Varieties on Walham Green (now Fulham Broadway) in London. Built in 1898 by prolific theatre architect Frank Matcham it closed in 1950, and was altered to serve as a film, then television studio from 1955 to 1968. The Beatles did a television special there in October 1964. Outrage at its demolition in 1971 was instrumental in motivating legislation to protect other historic theatres and cinemas. See more »


The police are unable to access the dressing room/murder scene because the door has been bolted and padlocked. The officer then takes an ax not to the bolt or lock but to a flimsy panel, after which the door just swings open. See more »


Don't Break The Spell
Music by Basil Hempseed
Lyrics by Edward J. Mason
See more »

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User Reviews

Ahead of its time, in places
9 August 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

TREAD SOFTLY is a fairly interesting little murder mystery thriller, although with a theatrical revue as a backdrop it feels the need to pad out the (short) running time with endless song and dance routines which really drag the pacing down and have dated quite considerably in the ensuing years. As much as I love watching Patricia Dainton, there's something faintly embarrassing about the way she carries herself in these numbers; she looks ill at ease and her performance suffers as a result, although off the stage she's a lot better.

Otherwise, the film is quite interesting. It's a shame the murder mystery aspects of the narrative are so limited because they're quite classic and influential. The use of the dusty, run-down old theatre is a good one but the cameraman can't even bring himself to show us the moment when a corpse is discovered in a locked room. The film reminded me of Pete Walker's THE FLESH AND BLOOD SHOW in its depiction of fallen performers committing violent revenge and latterly the excellent Italiah giallo STAGE FRIGHT with which it has more than a few stylistic similarities.

The cast is a decent one for what is a B-movie on a B-movie's budget. John Bentley is the erstwhile hero and he certainly looks dashing even if he doesn't have much to do. The viewer is also treated to a youthful and earnest Robert Urquhart (THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN) and John Laurie (DAD'S ARMY) as a waspish accountant. The ubiquitous Ronald Leigh-Hunt is the copper investigating the murders. Frances Day has a nice role as the bitter starlet. The identity of the murderer at the end is a good one too, it's just a pity that the horror aspects of the story weren't better focused on.

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