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Port of Escape - 1956 UK The first time I saw this film (2006) it was a rather poor print on an old VHS tape. I have since replaced it with a much better DVD copy. I decided a second look was needed just to see if i had missed something the first time.
John McCallum and Bill Kerr are a pair of American sailors just fired off a freighter. They hit the waterfront dives in search of booze and dames. Kerr, the not so bright one of the pair gets in a scrap with a local hard case. A knife is produced and used which leaves the local dead. McCallum and Kerr hit the pavement in a hurry looking for a place to go to ground. With John Law on their heels the pair jump on a dockside houseboat to hide. On board are three woman whom the pair take as hostages. A gun persuades the trio, Joan Hickson, Googie Withers and Wendy Danielli to play along when the Police come for a look. The Police move on and McCallum and Kerr decide to lay low for a few days till the heat is off. After that they will steal a small boat and head down river where they hope to sign on an outbound ship. If they can get back to the States they figure they can just disappear. They make their break but needless to say their luck does not hold. The chase is back on. The gun is used, Kerr is killed trying to escape over a warehouse roof and McCallum is captured. A well done little film with some excellent camera work of the London docks and town.
The director was the rather unknown Anthony Young. The d of p was Phil Grindrod who shot HOUSE OF BLACKMAIL, THE DEADLIEST SIN, DIAL 999, STREET OF SHADOWS, THE CROOKED SKY, VIOLENT STRANGER, THE HYPNOSIST and THE DIPLOMATIC CORPSE.
John McCallum who just passed two weeks ago, was in ROOT OF EVIL, THE CALENDER, THE WOMAN IN QUESTION, THE LONG MEMORY, IT ALWAYS RAINS ON SUNDAYS and TRENT'S LAST CASE. His wife, Googie Withers, was in DEAD OF NIGHT, IT ALWAYS RAINS ON SUNDAYS, PINK STRING AND SEALING WAX and NIGHT AND THE CITY. Joan Hickson, the BBC's Miss Marple to many of us, was in ROUGH SHOOT, DEADLY NIGHTSHADE and HEAT WAVE.
All in all I found it to be a decent middle of the road British thriller.
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