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Zachary Scott tracks down evidence that he killed a man
"Violent Stranger" (1957) aka "Man in the Shadow" is a Britnoir directed by Montgomery Tully, a reliable force in this kind of film. We can hope that someone will produce a DVD of this film because the available print is off of a UHF channel in Anaheim. The first 10 minutes are in rough shape and then it settles down to average quality, but not giving justice to how it should look. Warner Brothers Archive has released another one of Tully's noirs from 1957 too in which Zachary Scott also stars, "The Counterfeit Plan".
The story is far-fetched but still doesn't diminish its quality as a crime and suspense story. The three main characters are Zachary Scott, Faith Domergue and Peter Illing. Domergue's husband is close to being executed for a murder he didn't commit. Scott was the killer we learn at the outset when, in a coma in an Italian hospital, he reveals his role to Peter Illing. Illing travels to London to tell Domergue, but delays ensue because he wants a reward and she doesn't have it. Meanwhile, Scott puts in an unexpected recovery from his death bed and sets about trying to find Illing who has stolen a critical piece of evidence from Scott's hotel room.
We expect and get good support from a roster of British character actors. The picture tries to drain every last drop of tension it can from the situations. Scott aids this effort immeasurably. As an actor, he had a remarkable power to grab us and hold us. He's the main reason for seeing such a film and he delivers.
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