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Kill Her Gently (1957)

Two convicts who have just escaped from prison are picked up by a motorist. He recognizes the men from descriptions given of them on the radio, but instead of turning them over to the ... See full summary »





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Cast overview:
Jeff Martin
Maureen Connell ...
William Connors
George Mikell ...
Lars Svenson
Shay Gorman ...
Dr. Jimmy Landers
Marianne Brauns ...
Frank Hawkins ...
Insp. Raglan
John Gayford ...
Truck Driver
Roger Avon ...
Const. Brown
Patrick Connor ...
Det. Sgt. Thompson
Jonathan Meddings ...
Bank clerk
Peter Stephens ...
Bank manager
Susan Neill ...
David Lawton ...
Elaine Wells ...
Mrs. Douglas


Two convicts who have just escaped from prison are picked up by a motorist. He recognizes the men from descriptions given of them on the radio, but instead of turning them over to the police, he proposes to hire them to murder his wife. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"She's the only wife I have, so...KILL HER Gently!"







Release Date:

October 1958 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


William Connors: You don't have the guts, kid. You never did have.
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User Reviews

Undiscovered Jewel
7 April 2007 | by See all my reviews

I guess the only reason this movie is not a well-beloved classic is that it was not made in Hollywood, is filmed in black-and-white, came from a minor studio and is full of unknowns. I also don't understand why so many people who watched its TCM debut rated it so low. It is definitely the best movie I saw during their entire "detectives" month.

The film starts out with Connors, an American, and Svenson, a Swede, escaping from prison. They are picked up hitchhiking by Jeff Martin. They become suspicious, though, when Martin gets them through a police roadblock, covering for them by claiming they are some friends of his that he has brought back from London to the rural area where the story transpires.

It turns out Martin has plans for them. He makes a bargain with them to help them flee the country if they will assist him in his scheme. Otherwise, he will turn them in. They have little choice, and agree to go along with his plan before they even know what it is.

But everything goes wrong with Martin's plan from the start. Bad breaks follow unfortunate coincidences in one unexpected plot twist after another, starting from the moment they get back to Martin's house and running all the way down to the penultimate scene.

Eventually it comes out that Martin has a past, and when the escaped cons discover it, this creates another rift in the deteriorating trio.

Both of the "bad guys" are really not so bad. Svenson especially is quite human, a rather sympathetic character. Of course, in spite of their increasing lack of enthusiasm for Martin's plan, the two of them have lived by the sword, and so are liable for the consequences. But each of them manages to achieve a small measure of redemption.

Nothing is wasted in this movie. The plot unfolds with mounting tension at a rapid pace. Every moment in this rather short film is calculated, crafted, a necessary piece in the tension that is developed by a skillful combination of plot and direction. Hitchcock rarely did it better, and often did it worse.

Even the final scene keeps in character with the movie, and does not fall into the mawkishness which would have been so easy, but rather ends up on a rather dark and somewhat ambiguous note.

The building tension in this movie achieves what few movies ever have been able to do to me ("Lady In A Cage," "Dial M For Murder" and "Midnight Lace" spring to mind), keeping me riveted to the screen, and almost uncomfortable, squirming in my chair as I wait for the inevitable, which, in the greatest Hitchockian manner, does not come, but is whipped away by a surprising plot twist.

Excellent suspense! Masterfully executed!

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