A man on a fishing trip with three of his friends receives a blow to the head that makes him lose his memory. Three years later it all comes back to him, but on the day it does one of the men who was on the trip with him turns up dead.
A private eye is hired by an insurance company to investigate a shipping magnate suspected of deliberately sinking his own ships for the insurance money. He finds himself involved in a web of deception, double-crossing and murder.
Former secret agent Robert Elliot (Coburn) will be promoted to government advisor. In order to make sure no-one will ever know about his dirty past, he has invented a very ingenious plan to... See full summary »
The big national crime syndicate has moved into town, partnering up with local crime boss Nick Scanlon. There are only two problems: First, Nick is the violent type, preferring to do things... See full summary »
20th Century-Fox gets the blame for distributing this in the USA but they were not the production company in any manner. Peter Reynolds is the screwed-up son of a college professor who ... See full summary »
In 1950, American producer Robert Lippert formed a business alliance with Hammer studios. Under the agreement, Lippert would provide American acting talent - frequently shop-worn stars or just supporting actors who fancied a profitable trip out of the country - while Hammer would supply the rest of the cast and the production facilities. Together they would split the profits. Famous for his concern with the bottom line, Lippert produced over 140 films between 1946 and 1955, characteristically genre pieces such as I Shot Jesse James or Rocketship XM. For the British deal, most of the films were noir-ish thrillers - and include this title.
Sidney James, a regular in this run of productions, appears in House Across The Lake. He plays successfully against type for once, as a millionaire in possession of a straying wife. Directed by Ken Hughes from his own novel, and who a year later also directed another highlight of James' career in Joe Macbeth (1955), as well as later Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) this taut, entirely successful noir thriller is one of the highlights of the Lippert-Hammer noir series (another is The Glass Cage - both available on DVD). A down-and-out writer (Alex Nichol) is invited across the lake to a rich household where he is naturally soon ensnared by a cunning fatale, leading to a waterborne death and inevitable double cross. Although the lure of sex is not quite as explicit as in The Flanagan Boy, which also appears as part of the Hammer series now reissued, House Across The Lake still manages to suggest perfectly satisfactorily the moral quagmire into which the urges of men lead them as well as an effective noir universe, which includes an extended flashback and, that archetypal device, the rueful voice-over. Recommended.
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