This is a quick running programmer (64 min) from the boys at Hammer Films.
Raymond Young is new doctor who is invited to join a country practice. He jumps at the opportunity and quickly moves out to a small rural village. There he meets his new partner, Patrick Barr, his wife, Jane Baxter, their teenage daughter, Julie Somers, as well as the practice nurse, Jean Lodge. Barr explains that he needs help with the practice. He seems to have caught some sort of "bug" and is feeling run down. Young is soon in the swing of things and becomes popular with Barr's patients. Barr's attacks become more severe and no one seems to know what is causing them. One night when Young is in London on business, Barr gets a call on a premature birth. Though sick, he and Lodge handle the call and deliver the baby. They return to Barr's house and discover Baxter writhing in agony on the floor. An ambulance is called and Baxter is rushed to the area hospital. Barr tells the surgeon he believes it is a burst appendix. Young arrives at the hospital just as the surgeon comes out to tell Barr that his wife has died. A quick autopsy reveals the actual cause of death, arsenic poisoning. The Police are called but Barr seems to have gone missing. The Police drive Lodge and Young back to Barr's house for a look around. Barr is nowhere to be found but the practice drug store has been raided. The Police are sure that Barr is their man and start a district wide search. Young and Lodge figure out where Barr must be hiding. They get there before the police and try to convince Barr to give himself up. Barr tells the pair why he has been sick of late. Barr believes that Baxter had been slowly poisoning him. Every night he felt worse after the nightcap he had with Baxter. The night Baxter had died, Barr had switched glasses. Then the call about the premature birth had come. Now a red herring is thrown in. The daughter, Somers, might actually have been the one to poison Baxter. She was annoyed with her mother because she saw her swapping spit with the local bank manager, Russell Waters. We quickly find out though that it is actually Waters doing the poison act. He was infatuated with Baxter and wanted her for himself. He had arranged a deadly accident some time earlier for his own wife. Now he just needs to eliminate Barr in-order to get at the object of his lust. Waters had a habit of stopping by in the evenings for a drink. That was when he would spike Barr's drink. Of course he did not know Baxter was going to get the final deadly dose. Barr of course had assumed it was Baxter feeding him the arsenic. Young confronts Waters with Somers' story. Waters pulls an automatic and bolts out the door. He grabs up Barr's daughter, Somers, and heads for the hills. She escapes from Waters and leads him on a chase that ends at an old mill. Right behind the two is Young and the Police. Just as Waters is about to finish Somers he slips and falls to a nasty end under a huge water wheel.
Not great, but worth a look.
Patrick Barr had roles in MAN ON THE RUN, THE INTRUDER, BLACK ORCHID, ESCAPE BY NIGHT, LADY OF Vengeance and URGE TO KILL. Young was in THE ASSASSIN and 3 STEPS IN THE DARK.
The film's director was Charles Saunders. Saunders work includes, BLACK ORCHID, MEET MR CALLAGHAN, THE SCARLET WEB, THE NARROWING CIRCLE, BEHIND THEHEADLINES, JUNGLE STREET, NAKED FURY, DANGER BY MY SIDE and KILL HER GENTLY.
The d of p was Walter Harvey. Harvey's noir work was rather extensive and includes, CLOUDBURST, THE ROSSITER CASE, THE BLACK WIDOW, MAN BAIT, WINGS OF DANGER, STOLEN FACE, BAD BLONDE, THE BLACK GLOVE, BLACKOUT, TERROR STREET, 3 STEPS TO MURDER, BLACKOUT, HEATWAVE, 3RD PARTY RISK, RACE FOR LIFE, THE GLASS TOMB, STOLEN ASSIGNMENT, ONE WAY OUT, BLONDE BAIT, THE BIG CHANCE, ACCOUNT RENDERED, END OF THE LINE, SHADOW OF FEAR, JUNGLE STREET, DANGER BY MY SIDE, HI-JACKERS and KILL HER GENTLY.
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