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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
Nicholas Clay ...
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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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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

 
'Creepy, hugely atmospheric and surprisingly little-known British pot boiler'
23 January 2014 | by See all my reviews

Creepy, hugely atmospheric and surprisingly little-known British pot boiler concerning the wicked travails of a rather personable, youthful handy man; a soft spoken soul who once finished with his diligent roof repairs reveals himself to be a demented sex killer (Brilliantly played by a handsome and enigmatic Nicholas Clay). The director makes especially effective use of dark splashes of humor, and Hollywood icon Patricia Neal is an absolute delight. Pamela Brown's muscular performance is little short of stupendous; playing Patricia Neal's blind, abusive, over- zealous, wholly oppressive matriarch to the hilt! (I enjoyed this ballsy melodrama almost as much as 'The Fiend' with which it shares a similarly grim narrative, albeit with far less black humor) It would be entirely remiss of me in not mentioning the fine music of maestro Bernard Herrman. (As a prurient aside I never quite realized that Bridgit Forsyth had such a killer rack, if you will excuse the appalling pun)


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