6.6/10
275
13 user 7 critic

The Circle (1957)

The Vicious Circle (original title)
When Dr Howard Latimer finds the German Actress that he has just met at London Airport murdered in his flat, it leads him into the world of murder, blackmail and a fake passport scam.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Derek Farr ...
...
...
Maj. Harrington aka Robert Brady (as Wilfrid Hyde White)
Roland Culver ...
Mervyn Johns ...
Dr. George Kimber
René Ray ...
Mrs. Ambler (as Rene Ray)
...
Lisa Daniely ...
David Williams ...
The Detective Sergeant
Diana Lambert ...
Hal Osmond ...
Joe - Golf Caddy
Gillian Moran
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Storyline

When Dr Howard Latimer finds the German Actress that he has just met at London Airport murdered in his flat, it leads him into the world of murder, blackmail and a fake passport scam.

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Release Date:

15 April 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Circle  »

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75: 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The shadow of the cameraman is thrown in front of him as he shoots the the villains' arrival at London Airport. See more »

Soundtracks

Soldiers of the Queen
(uncredited)
Music by Leslie Stuart
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User Reviews

An uninspiring film that is too convoluted and unengaging to be worth seeing, based on a premise that has been done much better in many other films
19 October 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Dr Howard Latimer is late to an operatic performance with his girlfriend because he has to collect Frieda Veldon, a German actress from the airport and drop her off at his hotel. Returning to his home later that night, Latimer is horrified to find her dead on his living room floor and duly reports it to Scotland Yard. Assigned to the case is one Detective Inspector Dane, who starts to pick holes in Latimer's story with friends and patients denying every word of Latimer's alibis and statements. Starting to doubt his own sanity, Latimer does a bunk to try and work out who is setting him up. It is at this point he meets Robert Brady, a mysterious man who offers him a photograph that can help corroborate Latimer's story – but at what price, and what are the wider issues around Veldon's murder.

One of the other reviewers on this site has incorrectly assumed that, with so few votes and comments, that this film is 'very unknown', but I'd just like to correct him and say it is forgotten rather than unknown. Certainly I was aware of the title in John Mills' body of work and, given the chance to see it on television recently, took it. The film is basically one of those films where we have an innocent man accused and framed for a murder, only to go on the run and try to clear himself before it is too late. This film really overdoes the degree of the setup though and, even when it is resolved, bits of it don't make sense and the film seems to have been hoping that it could just move fast enough to stop the audience picking holes in the plot – but nothing moves that quick! The series of jumps and turns it makes means that it is too hard to get into, with no nice plot development or focal point (other than Latimer) meaning that it never really engaged me.

Certainly comparisons with North By Northwest only apply as far as the very vague subject matter goes, otherwise there is no comparison – NBNW is exciting, well written and engaging, whereas this film is rather uninteresting, convoluted and hard to really ever care about. Latimer drifts around aimlessly and never feels like a man pursued by anything, while the characters just pile up on one another with none really making a mark. Mills tries hard but he is too stiff to get the audience behind him, certainly he has none of Grant's 'everyman' qualities. His performance really doesn't suit the film and he is a part of it not really engaging. Culver is OK but far too calm – a bit more playful would have been better. It is for this reason that Jeffries and Hyde-White both come up as scene stealers, they at least have a bit of colour to their cheeks and play up their characters well. Despite their work, most of the cast are pretty flat and blame can be left at the door of the script which really doesn't help them at all.

Overall this is a fairly average film that has a standard premise that has been done much better in many other films. Not a terrible film by any means but just one that doesn't do anything of any real merit or effort, producing a rather flat film with a listless and uninspiring plot and only one or two minor performances of any note.


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