Already three trustees of the Van Traylen fund have died during the last months, looking like suicides. However after a mysterious accident of a bus with the last three trustees and 30 ... See full summary »
Already three trustees of the Van Traylen fund have died during the last months, looking like suicides. However after a mysterious accident of a bus with the last three trustees and 30 orphan kids in it, police colonel Bingham starts investigating. First question is, how came that the dead bus driver is burnt when there was no fire during the accident? Dr. Ashley uses hypnosis to find the truth about the mysterious happenings. Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
I caught this on The Movie Channel, and taped it, planning to watch it later. Finally, I sat down, and tried to get into "Nothing But the Night," which, from the plotline offered by the TV Guide, looked pretty good.
Well, let's start with the plot. Different people, I believe associated by an orphanage or some other organization, are all being killed. In the first two minutes of the film. Then a bus with orphans and some others crashes, and one little girl, Mary, becomes the focus of attention. A doctor and a colonel (Cushing and Lee, respectively) are introduced, but they really don't come into the plot much. First the focus is on a young doctor, Peter, who, after being intrigued by hallucinatory ramblings from Mary, begins investigating, along with the help of a reporter, Joan. Meanwhile, Mary's estranged mother, Anna, wants her daughter back, and will go to the extreme to get her. And then Peter is murdered, supposedly by Anna, and that's when Lee and Cushing's characters really come in. Eventually, this leads them and Joan to the island of Bala, where Mary has been returned to her orphanage, and Anna is headed for to get her daughter back, being refused many times. From there, it's a mix of weak investigation, a few murders, and a "The Fugitive"-like hunt for Anna, who is on the island and searching for Mary. (But Harrison Ford, Anna is not, and the hunt is pretty cheesy.) Nothing really connects or makes sense, and stumbles along to a semi-creepy climax.
What the hell does this have to do with that bizarre, very European title? I don't know.
The movie is pretty bland. While Lee, Cushing, and Georgia Brown (Joan) give good performances, Diana Dors (Anna) comes off almost like Bette Davis ala "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" with that big hair and brash disposition. The little girl who played Mary does a fine job, though, especially for a child actress, and that boosts this film a bit. But nothing masks the fact that the plotline is weak, and the film itself is overwhelmingly dull. As expected, there are far too many scenes of people talking. (I mean, c'mon, it's British after all.) And why does every manhunt need all the town's drunks coming out with rifles and dogs to go looking? You can almost see some of this coming at some points. Still, the movie has a pretty creepy climax, albeit short. And the twist in the end could have made a nice shock, but all the reviews for this movie give away the "big shock," as the plotline.
In any event, I don't recommend this. It's quite boring, and except for the acting, it's nothing to give the time to watching.
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