IMDb > Urge to Kill (1960)

Urge to Kill (1960) More at IMDbPro »


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James Eastwood (screenplay)
Gerald Savory (novel)
Release Date:
March 1960 (UK) See more »
A psychopathic killer murders three girls before police catch him. | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Hughie! See more (4 total) »


  (in credits order)
Patrick Barr ... Superintendent Allen
Howard Pays ... Charles Ramskill
Terence Knapp ... Hughie
Ruth Dunning ... Auntie B
Anna Turner ... Lily Willis
Christopher Trace ... Sergeant Grey
Margaret St. Barbe West ... Mrs. Willis (as Margaret St. Barbe-West)
Yvonne Buckingham ... Gwen
Laura Thurlow ... Jenny
Kenneth Midwood ... Sergeant Brigs (as Ken Midwood)
Wilfrid Brambell ... Mr. Forsythe
Brian O'Higgins ... Curly Latham
Rita Webb ... Charwoman
Maggie Rennie ... Alice (as Margaret McGrath)
David Lander ... Harris
David Browning ... Uniformed Inspector

Directed by
Vernon Sewell 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
James Eastwood  screenplay
Charles Freeman  play "Hand in Glove"
Gerald Savory  novel "Hughie Roddis"
Gerald Savory  play "Hand in Glove"
Edgar Wallace  uncredited

Produced by
Jack Greenwood .... producer
Jim O'Connolly .... associate producer
Cinematography by
John Wiles (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Geoffrey Muller 
Casting by
Ronnie Curtis  (as Ronald Curtis)
Art Direction by
Bill Holmes 
Makeup Department
Jack Craig .... make-up
Merwyn Medalie .... hairdresser (as Mervyn Medalie)
Production Management
Bill Shore .... production manager
Sound Department
Ronald Abbott .... sound recordist
Derek Holding .... sound editor
Sidney Rider .... sound recordist
Camera and Electrical Department
Alf Hicks .... camera operator
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Dulcie Midwinter .... wardrobe
Other crew
Marjorie Owens .... continuity

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

59 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

SynchrosectionsSee more »


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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Hughie!, 8 March 2007
Author: fillherupjacko from United Kingdom

The Edgar Wallace Mysteries were a 46 film series made by Merton Park Productions. They concluded in 1965, with "Dead Man's Chest", and began here with "Urge to Kill" five years earlier.

Or did they?

"Urge To Kill" lacks the revolving bust opening titles of the Edgar Wallace series. Also, it isn't based on anything that Wallace wrote. Despite it being listed on IMDb as the first film of the series, it was probably only retitled as "Edgar Wallace Mysteries: Urge To Kill" for the USA and wasn't part of the series at all.

No matter. A lunatic is running amok in what looks like a particularly grim small town. No green hills in these parts, as someone remarks – even though I watched a green tinted version of this film, which makes everyone look a bit sicklier than they no doubt were. There's a small town mentally to many of the villagers, or towners, in the shape of some large talk down The Anchor (that's a pub) of mobbing up and sorting out Hughie (Terence Knapp), the educationally subnormal young man (or "mental case" as the Police refer to him – charming!) who lives with his Auntie, Auntie B (Ruth Denning) the landlady of a modest boarding house. Huey likes roaming round by the docks and derelict sites to find "pretty bits like flowers" – pieces of old broken bottles and such. Some local Judy will be bumped off and Huey will arrive home soaking wet or covered in mud. Other suspects emerge in the form of Auntie B's boarders: kindly (or is that cowardly?) Mr Forsythe (Wilfrid Brambell, yes, that one) who has a habit of quoting the Bible - and Charlie Ramskill (now there's a clue) played by Howard Pays as an unctuous sales rep who's outward confidence masks an alarming inadequacy with the ladies. Oh and there's Mrs Willis (Anna Turner) who likes to pop in with her glad tidings. Mrs Willis sounds like one of those TS Eliot women from the Wasteland: "Have you seen the paper? Have you seen it? It's Jenny. You know: Curly's daughter. Got herself done in. Strangulated. Here! See for yourself! Murdered and gashed! Gave me quite a turn. I wouldn't say no to a cup of tea."

It all adds up to something less than a mystery as it's pretty quickly revealed who the real madman is.

Unusual for the era for the way it places a – erm - murdering lunatic in an everyday setting - rather than the Grand Guignol mannered style of horror films – "Urge To Kill" came bang in the middle of Merton Park's heyday when they chugged along at the rate of one feature per month - before tailing off into TV production by the late 60s.

"Urge To Kill" runs contrary to the usual second features of the time, Butchers' productions of feeble glamour in London apartments/ nightspots for example, and outwardly has more in common with early Coronation Street. Merton Park Productions, who had their studios opposite – erm – Merton Park in London, were notorious for using locations in and around SW19 in order to keep their production costs down. This one is all quite studio bound; most of it set round the kitchen table. The writers presumably imagined that they were creating quirky, eccentric characters but very little about "Urge To Kill" rises above its mundane setting.

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