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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
Jean Anderson ...
Mrs. Millicent McMurtrey
...
Mr. Bolton
Yootha Joyce ...
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
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

 
A Good Solid 70's Psycho flick
19 November 2008 | by (South Africa) – See all my reviews

Many people will say that this film was a botch up job of Joy Cowley's novel, but they would be wrong.

While I have to admit that the type of filming they used in the 70's is not among my favourite, it worked well for this film because it gave you insight into how each character saw things.

Patricia Niel was perfect as the spinster who was stuck caring for her blind and horrid adoptive mother, and who slowly but surely becomes sexually aware of the young drifter, played by Nicholas Clay.

Some parts of the film are vaguely confusing, but one comes to grasp them after rolling the idea around in ones mind for a while.

This film was very well done for an era that produced some awful movies that completely butchered famous books, and used skin instead of actual acting to portray a film.

The Night Digger aka Road Runner is a very watchable film, that sneaks up on you rather than attacks you head on like some psychological thrillers do.


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