6.4/10
587
17 user 16 critic

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 »

Director:

Writers:

(novel),
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: GP Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two young English women go on a cycling tour of the French countryside. When one of them goes missing, the other begins to search for her. But who can she trust?

Director: Robert Fuest
Stars: Pamela Franklin, Michele Dotrice, Sandor Elès
Short | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Based on the short story by Roald Dahl, Lamb to the Slaughter describes the order of events of the murder of Patrick Maloney.

Director: Simon Throssell
Stars: Alexander Butterworth, Adam Jest, Jonathan Kirby
Crime | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Vineyard owner marquis Philippe de Montfaucon is called back to his castle Bellenac because of another dry season. He asks his wife and children to remain in Paris, but they still come ... See full summary »

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: David Niven, Sharon Tate, Deborah Kerr
The Funhouse (1981)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Four teenage friends spend the night in a carnival funhouse and are stalked by a deformed man in a Frankenstein mask.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Elizabeth Berridge, Shawn Carson, Jeanne Austin
Mystery | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An ambassador's wife discovers that one of the men in her life - either her husband, an ex-lover or her current lover - may be a vicious serial killer.

Director: Sergio Martino
Stars: George Hilton, Edwige Fenech, Conchita Airoldi
The Nanny (1965)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

There's just something not quite right when Bette Davis stars as an English nanny. And is her 10 year-old charge an emotionally disturbed murderer or just an insolent brat?

Director: Seth Holt
Stars: Bette Davis, Wendy Craig, Jill Bennett
Certificate: M Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

As Aunt Alice, Ruth Gordon applies for the job of housekeeper in the Tucson, Arizona home of widow Claire Marrable in order to find out what happened to a missing widowed friend, Edna ... See full summary »

Directors: Lee H. Katzin, Bernard Girard
Stars: Geraldine Page, Ruth Gordon, Rosemary Forsyth
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

"Punishment Park" is a pseudo-documentary purporting to be a film crews's news coverage of the team of soldiers escorting a group of hippies, draft dodgers, and anti-establishment types ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Patrick Boland, Kent Foreman, Carmen Argenziano
The Mack (1973)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Goldie returns from five years at the state pen and winds up king of the pimping game. Trouble comes in the form of two corrupt white cops and a crime lord who wants him to return to the ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Campus
Stars: Max Julien, Don Gordon, Richard Pryor
Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In 1950s England, slow-witted Derek Bentley falls in with a group of petty criminals led by Chris Craig, a teenager with a fondness for American gangster films. Chris and Derek's friendship... See full summary »

Director: Peter Medak
Stars: Tom Courtenay, Christopher Eccleston, Eileen Atkins
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: Kiumars Poorahmad
Stars: Golab Adineh, Sirus Gorjestani, Sam Gharibian
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1940, when Mary Maloney's husband of 10 years (Patrick Maloney) decides to leave her. Mary takes matters into to her own hands...

Director: Nicole Barnette
Stars: Liz Mamana, Brien Varady, Ron Gilbert
Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Excellent psychological thriller
6 March 2008 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

The Road Builder is sadly not very well known, and that's a shame because this psychological thriller is a real gem and would certainly benefit from being more widely seen. The film is based on a book by Joy Cowley, although there were apparently some changes made to the story (I don't know what since I've not read the book). One of the more surprising things about this film is the fact that the screenplay was written by popular children's author Roald Dahl, although clearly he did also have a taste for the macabre if Tales of the Unexpected as well as his children's book 'The Witches' are anything to go by. The film is a strange love story at heart and we focus on a house inhabited by an old spinster and her middle aged daughter Maura. Their lives are changed one day when a young stranger on a motorbike turns up and they agree to let him stay. The young man becomes a popular figure in the house rather quickly, especially with Maura. However, there's something strange about him as evidenced by his sudden bursts of depression, apparently owing to the tragic death of his parents.

Most of the plot takes place in a grandiose mansion and it makes for a really good location for the movie - it's very isolated and is nice to look at. The atmosphere is very good throughout and this excellently compliments the plot which is thoroughly dark and largely unpleasant. The plot doesn't move particularly quickly, but it's always interesting thanks to the way that the characters are built up progressively and director Alastair Reid focuses on their relationship with one another. The acting is very good and the film stars Roald Dahl's then wife Patricia Neal in the lead role. She gets on well with the other two main players, Pamela Brown and Nicholas Clay and these actors help to ensure that the film works well. There's not a great deal of shocking moments, but the way that the unpleasant happenings are handled works very well as it's nasty yet completely believable. It all boils down to a very good ending and The Road Builder is certainly a film with a 'sting in the tail'. Overall, I really hope this gets a decent release soon because it's a great thriller and well worth seeing!


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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
another question about the end kpaletz-1
the end angelfox
TCM's Aspect Ratio ChazSmith
Does this ever air? Jerry02149
childhood experience angelfox
Air in U.S. or Canada? KriSsYkRiS
Discuss The Road Builder (1971) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?