A clever fortune-hunter with a penchant for murder does in his elderly, supposedly rich, wife and manages to get away with it. After an investigation results in a decision of 'accidental ...
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The son of a Victorian hangman is driven insane by thoughts of his father's profession. The young man emulates his father by strangling young women. He then meets and falls in love with a ... See full summary »
A clever fortune-hunter with a penchant for murder does in his elderly, supposedly rich, wife and manages to get away with it. After an investigation results in a decision of 'accidental death', our crafty killer discovers that his late wife's 'fortune' is not what he thought it was. Driven to find another unsuspecting spouse; he discovers that his new bride, a widow, is no fool. When she tells him that she intends to keep her accounts separate from his, he is driven to contemplate murder once again. Written by
A charming, scheming young man, married to dowdy Mona Washborne(even in 1955!)believes his wife is about to disinherit him and murders her whilst trying to be proactive. He soon realizes that she had no intent to do so but rather to leave everything to him, and he must now go and find another middle-aged woman ripe for his charms. Unfortunately for Dirk Bogarde, giving a rather good performance as the lazy killer, he chooses vulgar, feisty Margaret Lockwood, a semi-self-made woman left a great deal of money by her recently departed husband. Lockwood falls in love yet never completely yields to Bogarde or his financial desires, and soon new thoughts creep into his head. Another middle-aged woman arrives and Bogarde has new plans. This is a well-made, well-directed, superbly acted film with a great deal of suspense and lots of good, old-fashioned storytelling. Director Lewis Gilbert creates a tense, taut pace and his actors more than arise to the occasion. Lockwood, for me at least, never was better giving her common, nouveau riche former barmaid a depth of character. She is vulgar, not overwhelmingly attractive, yet at the same time very humane, intelligent, and the core of common sense in the film. The other women characters are stereotypes as is Bogarde. They all give good performances but are not round characters at all. Washborne looks like she could play someone's aunt here, and Kay Walsh as the "other" woman gives a competent yet predictable performance. I did like the ending. It seemed to fit the film very well. Some other good acting turns are given by Robert Flemyng as a lawyer convinced of Bogarde's guilt and Katleen Harrison doing an outstanding job as a super loyal yet none too bright maid. Cast a Dark Shadow is an eerie look into the world of someone who lives his life as a human parasite.
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