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 »
`The Secret Place' is an average little caper film apart from a tense jewel robbery sequence. It begins with a wind-up gramophone (which becomes important to the plot) playing some dire English pop song of the day. The `day' is the mid-nineteenfifties and flattened bombsites are much in evidence in the back streets of London's East End.
Clive Donner made one of my favorite films, the biting black comedy about the English class system, `Nothing but the Best' but this, his directorial debut, is a much more pedestrian effort with plodding dialogue and a plot holding few surprises.
The one highlight, however, is the performance of David McCallum of `Man from Uncle' infamy. Wearing a leather jacket and obviously under the influence of Brando and Dean he tries to portray the classic `crazy, mixed-up kid' so common in the popular culture of the fifties. Attempting teenage angst, he only manages to display the symptoms of constipation. Another central character, Ronald Lewis wears a huge, Brylcreemed Elvis Presley-style quiff.
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