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The Road Builder (1971)

The Night Digger (original title)
Effective psychological love story with a macabre twist not found in the original Joy Cowley novel. The dreary existence of middle- aged spinster Maura Prince takes an unexpected turn with ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Maura Prince
Pamela Brown ...
Mrs. Edith Prince - Mother
...
Billy Jarvis
...
Mrs. Millicent McMurtrey
...
Mr. Bolton
...
Mrs. Palafox
...
Reverend Rupert Palafox
Brigit Forsyth ...
District Nurse
Sebastian Breaks ...
Dr. Ronnie Robinson
Diana Patrick ...
Mary Wingate
Jenny McCracken ...
Jenny - Farmwife
Bruce Myles ...
Bank Clerk
Zoe Alexander ...
Stroke Patient
Christopher Reynalds ...
Young Billy
Elaine Ives-Cameron ...
Gypsy
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Storyline

Effective psychological love story with a macabre twist not found in the original Joy Cowley novel. The dreary existence of middle- aged spinster Maura Prince takes an unexpected turn with the arrival of young handyman Billy Jarvis, but there is more to Billy than meets the eye. This well-crafted film, full of sexual tension and Gothic flavor, was Patricia Neal's second after her return to acting, her real-life stroke worked deftly into the story by then-husband Roald Dahl. Written by Shane Pitkin <be50006@binghamton.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A tale of the strange and perverse. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 May 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Az ásós gyilkos  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original length of the film was 110 minutes. Bernard Herrmann composed his score for 110 minutes version. But about 13 minutes were cut right before the film's official release. So some of Bernard Herrmann's cues didn't end up in the film. In the released version (97 - 98 minutes), small portions of Herrmann's cue close to the end of the film was accidentally edited out. Some of Herrmann's cues that he composed for certain scenes in the released version didn't end up in the released cut. One of the unused cues was a cue for the scene where the nurse walks back and enters into her car. See more »

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User Reviews

He only comes out at night
18 May 2008 | by See all my reviews

Patricia Neal+Bernard Herrmann + Neal's husband Dahl.Plus Pamela Brown and Nicholas Clay.It does make a decent film,it does not make the classic thriller we could have expected .

Neala nd her mother ("you could have got married when you were YOUNG" said Clay to an infuriated Neal).A spinster who lives with her over possessive mother ,Neal's character recalls Nell's past in Shirley Jackson's "the haunting" (masterfully transferred to the screen by Robert Wise,then butchered some years ago).A good thing in the last minutes :the director does not show ,he lets us imagine what terrible thing happened .Today such a quality has become rare.

But if you have read Dahl's wonderful short stories ,you may be disappointed by his script,including pointless characters such as the minister and his wife who want to become a woman and a man respectively. Besides the two women's story and Nicholas Clay's do not hang very well.


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