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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Last Shot You Hear is an oddly engaging, rather badly made thriller
featuring Hugh Marlowe as marriage counselor Charles Nordeck. Nordeck
has made a fortune from his best-selling advice books, and has grown to
love his wealth more than his wife, pouty blonde Anne (Patricia
Haines). Desperate for children, Anne has engaged in an extramarital
affair with tall dark and handsome Peter Marriott (William Dysart), but
Charles must keep up appearances and refuses to give his unhappy spouse
a divorce. Anne and Peter hatch a murder plot, but their plans are
overheard by Nordeck's mousy secretary Eileen (Zena Walker), an
ambitious young woman who wants in on the plot, too. Can Detective
Inspector Nash (John Nettleton) unravel the intrigue, or will the
troublemaking trio get away with it?
Hamhandedly written for the screen by Walking With Dinosaurs creator Tim Haines (responsible not only for the line about cold eggs, but also for one character's description of himself as 'psychedelic and trendy'), The Last Shot You Hear also suffers from poor cinematography and clumsy editing. Somehow, though, the film--directed by the usually reliable Gordon Hessler--somehow manages to entertain whilst being thoroughly predictable, at least until the final reel. Comic relief is ably supplied by Thorley Walters and Joan Young, and there's a passable jazz-inflected score from Bert Shefter, the man who created The Bostweeds for Russ Meyer's Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill! It's far from a classic, but fans of obscure British films will probably get some mileage out of The Last Shot You Hear.
Everything about this screams bad TV movie. The acting was wooden and the cinematography and color rendition worse. The transitions were terrible, the lighting amateurish and the music sometimes silly. It was originally screened in B&W, that may have dimmed its awfulness but in its original color, it just looks strange. The lights are overhead, making every character raccoon-eyes in many scenes and the sets have the evenness of color one associates with shot-for-TV serials where there is little custom lighting, just brightness. Many shots are characterized by the shot-from-down-low with-something-in-the-foreground really amateurish look. I felt sort of sorry for Patricia Hanes; the film made her look gawky and unattractive. Don't waste time watching this, it will darken your day.
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