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Straight on Till Morning (1972)

R | | Thriller | August 1974 (USA)
A timid, withdrawn woman meets a man she believes is finally the love of her life, unaware that he is a vicious serial killer.

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(original screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Brenda Thompson
...
Peter Clive
...
Joey
Katya Wyeth ...
Caroline
...
Liza
...
Jimmy Lindsay
...
Margo Thompson (as Clare Kelly)
Harold Berens ...
Mr. Harris
John Clive ...
Newsagent
Tommy Godfrey ...
Mr. Godfrey
Mavis Villiers ...
Indian Princess
Lola Willard ...
Customer
Tinker ...
Tinker
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Storyline

Shy Brenda Thompson writes naive children's stories to amuse herself. Stifled and desperate for a man of her own, she leaves Liverpool, telling her mom she's pregnant, and gets a job in a boutique in London. She moves in with the promiscuous but good-hearted Caroline but the mod set shuns her for her plain looks. Then she kidnaps a strange young man's dog, so as to perhaps get to know him while returning it. The young man turns out to be Peter, a psychopath with a predilection for killing beautiful things. He renames Brenda Wendy, and they start a hopeful, if strange, relationship. It might have a chance, if it weren't for Peter's murderous secrets. Written by Leo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

August 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dressed for Death  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A tin of 'Collinson's Coffee' appears in Peter's kitchenette; this is an in-joke referring to the director, Peter Collinson. See more »

Goofs

When Peter leads Brenda/'Wendy' into her room for the first time, a crew member is clearly visible, crouching down from the doorway. See more »

Soundtracks

Straight On Till Morning
Music by Annie Ross
Lyrics by Annie Ross and John Peacock
Sung by Annie Ross
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User Reviews

 
A bizarre combination of social realism and psychological thriller
23 November 2011 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) – See all my reviews

Straight on Till Morning is certainly one of the most atypical films that Hammer Studios ever produced. It begins like a social realist kitchen-sink drama, replete with fragmented snapshot montage editing similar to Ken Loach's Up the Junction – incidentally, a film remade by Peter Collinson the director of this film. And for the first third of the film it seems like this is going to be another such gritty drama, however, it takes an unexpected detour when it suddenly turns into a psychological thriller. It's an extremely unusual combination that isn't entirely successful but definitely interesting. In actual fact it's one of Hammer's more intriguing efforts in my opinion because it's so weird.

The story is about a naive young girl called Brenda who moves to London to try and find a man. She winds up staying with a very strange foppish man called Peter who is in fact a serial killer of women.

The social realism and montage heavy editing is entirely at odds to anything else Hammer ever put out. This is a film that has way more in common with the British New Wave than it does with anything previously produced by the famous studio. None of the characters are particularly likable, with the men in particular very creepy and/or deeply unpleasant people with appalling haircuts. The central relationship between Brenda and Peter is, to put it mildly, bizarre. It's difficult to see what either of them sees in each other; while Peter's strange issues with beauty are a little hard to fathom. Nevertheless, I thought this one was not bad at all. It wasn't predictable in the way that most Hammer films tend to be. It was pretty bleak and overall a commendably uncommercial offering. Definitely worth a look if you like downbeat psychological dramas.


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