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The Glass Tomb (1955)
"The Glass Cage" (original title)

 -  Mystery  -  15 April 1955 (USA)
5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 86 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 6 critic

Crowds flock to a carnival sideshow to see "The Starving Man", a heavyset man who claims he can go 70 days without eating. However, a couple of murders occur at the carnival, resulting in the police becoming involved.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Pel Pelham
...
Jenny Pelham
Geoffrey Keen ...
Harry Stanton
...
Henri Sapolio
Sidney James ...
Tony Lewis
Liam Redmond ...
Inspector Lindley
Sydney Tafler ...
Rorke (as Sidney Tafler)
Valerie Vernon ...
Bella
Arnold Marlé ...
Pop Maroni (scenes deleted)
Nora Gordon ...
Marie Sapolio
Sam Kydd ...
George
Ferdy Mayne ...
Bertie
Tonia Bern ...
Rena Maroni
Arthur Howard ...
Rutland
Stan Little ...
Mickelwitz (as Stanley Little)
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Storyline

'Pel' Pelham is a veteran carnival barker who's happily married and desperately wants a good education for his young son. With money borrowed from bookie Tony Lewis, he persuades Sapolio, a professional "starving man," to attempt to break his own world's record of 65 days without food. Pel, a natural promoter, persuades a real estate broker to donate land for the show, which will feature Sapolio inside a glass cage housed in a tent to be ogled by the curious paying public. Prior to the start of the ordeal, Sapolio and his wife throw a party in their flat. When a girl in an upstairs apartment is murdered, suspicion falls on Pel and Tony Lewis, the girl's former boyfriend. Sapolio unknowingly has glimpsed the murderer, but initially cannot remember what he looked like. That makes "The Starving Man" a target for the real killer. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

JAGGED EDGE OF VIOLENCE!...THAT SHATTERS THE SCREEN WITH SUSPENSE! (original USA print ad for "The Glass Tomb")

Genres:

Mystery

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

15 April 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Glass Tomb  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Rorke: [on a subway platform] I'm only guessing, but I think it must have been very lonely for you sitting up in that room all that time with her so cold and so dead. But something I don't have to guess about - like how a man plays Santy Claus to a pretty young girl while...
[the rest is indistinguishable as the train roars by]
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User Reviews

 
Pel Pelham Opening Soon With Starving Man Act.
12 June 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Glass Tomb (AKA: The Glass Cage) is directed by Montgomery Tully and adapted to screenplay by Richard Landau from the story The Outsiders written by A. E. Martin. It stars John Ireland, Honor Blackman, Geoffrey Keen, Eric Pohlmann, Sid James and Sydney Tafler. Music is by Leonard Salzedo and cinematography by Walter Harvey.

Pel Pelham's carnival is in town and the star attraction is Sapolio, a man prepared to be locked in a glass cage and starve himself for 70 days. But when a couple of murders occur at the carnival, the police become involved and suspicion starts to point its ugly finger.

Part of the Hammer Film Noir series released by VCI Entertainment, The Glass Tomb is an odd little picture that's more a collection of noirish traits and ideas than a fully fledged movie. Running at just under an hour in length, film hinges on the flimsiest of stories but just about gets away with it on account of solid performances and some spiky themes in the piece. In the mix are carnival outcasts, blackmail, murder, carnal desires, gluttony, addiction and a macabre party scene with a body upstairs kept company for some time by the murderer?! These are nicely presided over by Tully and Harvey where shadows are often prominent and a neon light and subway train serve the atmosphere very well. You do wonder what world we live in when people pay to watch a man just not eat? While the murderer is known to us from the first killing, thus there's no mystery aspect to hang your coat on. Though clearly the makers want us to observe how the murderer easily moves about this carnival group undetected and above suspicion.

Not comfortably recommended as a whole, but enough parts of the quilt for the noir fans to appreciate. 6/10


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