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Jennifer Jason Leigh,
Paul Gregory is sprung from jail in London by his accomplice after getting a stretch as expected for robbing a woman who falls for his charms. Only he knows how to get to the money, but his partner is getting greedy and as things turn sour Gregory finds that home in Canada is a long way away. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
This is an offering from Michael Balcon at Ealing Studios which was probably not one of the premier British studios. That is one reason I was so surprised at the quality of the story and the production values. It was made during a period where the Brits tended to imitate most things American. The cars, the clothes, the movies, even the music. And then came Carnaby Street and the Beatles.
The story revolves around a American thief in London, played by George Nader, who was probably at the nadir of his career. I checked his credits and about this time he drifted into TV and then on to Germany and the rest of Europe, keeping busy in forgettable movies. His performance in this movie was low key, but really slick. He plays a professional who cons an old lady out of a valuable coin collection and spends the rest of the movie trying to cash it in and split. One by one his shady friends turn on him until he ends up a hunted man ducking for cover at every turn. He is eventually forced to rely on a virtual stranger he meets accidentally. She is played by a young and very interesting Maggie Smith. In fact I didn't even recognize her until the credits rolled.
This story was well written. Tight and tense. The performances were top notch, and the atmosphere had a very noir feel to it, even though a lot of it was shot in daylight. I don't know why George Nader's star waned. You couldn't predict it from his performance here.
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