5 user 1 critic

Murder Can Be Deadly (1962)

The Painted Smile (original title)
Jo Lake and Mark Davies, working the "outraged husband" racket, fall foul of the sinister Kleinie. Jo, all for quitting, is persuaded by Mark to find one more victim before they leave and ... See full summary »



(story and screenplay), (story and screenplay) | 1 more credit »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Barbara Vining is 17 years old and living with her family in a 1950s postwar English village. Her father, Henry, is a newspaper journalist and mother, Vi, a homemaker; her maiden aunt, ... See full summary »

Director: Anthony Pelissier
Stars: Gene Tierney, Leo Genn, Glynis Johns
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

During the 1960s in Britain, tense race relations between whites and blacks are affecting the workplace, the family, the dating scene and the society at large.

Director: Roy Ward Baker
Stars: John Mills, Sylvia Syms, Brenda de Banzie
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The film follows an American captain searching for sunken treasure who becomes entangled with criminals and is arrested by the Dutch police.

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Robert Taylor, Nicole Maurey, Linda Christian
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Emily, a pretty young Irish girl, gets a job on an English farm owned by the Tallent family. The local men take to her but the women don't, objecting to her flirtatious nature with their ... See full summary »

Director: Lance Comfort
Stars: Anne Crawford, Maxwell Reed, George Thorpe
The Mark (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A man who served prison time for intent to molest a child tries to build a new life with the help of a sympathetic psychiatrist.

Director: Guy Green
Stars: Maria Schell, Stuart Whitman, Rod Steiger
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Four war-time performers known for their concert parties, have a reunion. They decide they are still good together and form a successful nightclub act.

Director: Dicky Leeman
Stars: Terry-Thomas, Jeannie Carson, Len Lowe
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Pimps prey on young women coming to London for work.

Director: Don Chaffey
Stars: John Derek, Milly Vitale, William Franklyn
Breakaway (1956)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Suave, if a trifle elderly, private eye Duke Martin is on the trail of a secret formula and a kidnapped girl.

Director: Henry Cass
Stars: Tom Conway, Michael Balfour, Honor Blackman
Sapphire (1959)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1950s London racial hostility to Commonweath immigrants is openly paraded. A pregnant girl, initially assumed to be white, is murdered. As two detectives start to investigate, and ... See full summary »

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Nigel Patrick, Yvonne Mitchell, Michael Craig
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A racing driver loses his nerves after several crashes

Director: Michael Forlong
Stars: Bill Travers, Ed Begley, Sidney James
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

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 »

Director: Lawrence Huntington
Stars: Eric Portman, Dulcie Gray, Derek Farr
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Director: Charles Saunders
Stars: Jack Watling, Rona Anderson, John Horsley


Cast overview, first billed only:
Liz Fraser ...
Jo Lake
Kenneth Griffith ...
Peter Reynolds ...
Tony Wickert ...
Craig Douglas ...
Nightclub singer
Nanette Newman ...
Ray Smith ...
Harold Berens ...
Grazina Frame ...
Richard McNeff ...
Police Inspector
Gerald Sim ...
Plain Clothes Policeman
Rosemary Chalmers ...
Mia Karam ...
Terence Maidment ...
1st Henchman


Jo Lake and Mark Davies, working the "outraged husband" racket, fall foul of the sinister Kleinie. Jo, all for quitting, is persuaded by Mark to find one more victim before they leave and quit. She goes to the club where she operates and persuades a very-drunk young student, Tom, who has just won a hundred pounds, to go back to her flat. Mark, hiding there, hears footsteps mounting the stairs, but instead of Jo, the ugly, crippled Kleinie appears and coldly and callousy stabs Mark, leaving the body in Jo's bedroom. When she arrives with Tom, Kleinie phones and tells her to look in her bedroom. Jo tells Tom that the police will blame him and she persuades him to get his car and dispose of the body. Still somewhat drunk, his erratic driving causes him to be stopped by the police. Tom escapes. His friends, Glynn and Roy call on his fiancée, Mary, after reading in the paper about the body found in his car and that the police are after him. Tom arrives and his two friends set out to find ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

May 1962 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Murder Can Be Deadly  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The role of nightclub singer, played by Craig Douglas, was originally offered to The Beatles, but they were rejected by the producer, who thought they were too young. See more »


Painted Smile
Sung by Craig Douglas
Composed by Martin Slavin
Lyrics by Abbe Gail
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

good British B-picture
4 January 2003 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

There is something engaging about these B-movies and usually one or two points of interest. In this instance that comes from seeing Liz Fraser in a leading role. It would be labouring the point to say she is required to stretch her acting muscles here, and in fact she is required more to squeeze her gargantuan bosom into tight negligees, but I always welcome the chance to see one of Britain's comedy stalwarts in a straight role. In fact the film has a few faces who went on to better things, including an almost unrecognisable Griffith as the cheif villain and a fresh-faced Hemmings before he turned into the corpulent Ken Russell-lookalike he is today. There is also a chance to see Nanette Newman doing what in an early 1960s B-movie passed for acting; she is beautiful though.

As far as being an entry in the British crime genre is concerned the film is rather disappointing. The synopsis I had led me to believe the plot concerned rival gang bosses fighting over a girl. The truth is that gangsterism is used purely as a backdrop for a series of events which befall the student. In fact, despite Fraser's top billing, the film shifts its focus away from Jo Lake and settles on Tom, as soon as he gets the corpse into his car. In that way the film resembles not so much a gangster film, or even an underworld film, as what was called in the 1980s a 'yuppie nightmare' movie, in the manner of AFTER HOURS or SOMETHING WILD.

Despite the strides towards realism which had been made in the genre this film insists on using a very dated portrayal of crimelords. Kleinie is coded as anything but a macho figure: he has a club foot, has an effeminacy about him, is clearly not from the working classes, and conducts operations (about which we learn nothing) from an oak-panelled office lined with books. Furthermore he is played by Kenneth Griffith, not an actor noted for his physical presence or menace.

Having said all that the film does have its own charm and it is remarkable to think, at a time when film production here has slumped, that Britain once had such a thriving industry and produced second features, such as this, to support the main film.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Songs in the film n-p-hunt
Discuss Murder Can Be Deadly (1962) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: