A dramatization of the shocking Barbara Daly Baekeland murder case, which happened in a posh London flat on Friday 17 November 1972. The bloody crime caused a stir on both sides of the Atlantic and remains one of the most memorable American Tragedies...
1939 is set between present-day London and the idyllic British countryside in the time before the beginning of the Second World War. At a time of uncertainty and high tension, the story revolves around the formidable Keyes family, who are keen to uphold and preserve their very traditional way of life. The eldest sibling Anne is a budding young actress who is in love with Foreign Office official Lawrence, but her seemingly perfect life begins to dramatically unravel when she stumbles across secret recordings of the pro-appeasement movement. While trying to discover the origin of these recordings, dark secrets are revealed which lead to the death of a great friend. As war breaks out Anne discovers the truth and flees to London to try to confirm her suspicions, but she is caught and imprisoned and only then does she finally begin to discover how badly she has been betrayed. Written by
What a treat is this dark and serpentine story of conspiracy, betrayal and innocence violated. It is the more powerful, compelling and involving for its subtle and wonderfully gentle understatement.
A very English film, it presents genuine, familiar and engaging period performances from a fine cast headed by the extremely watchable Bill Nigh - who's character oozes honeyed treachery. It resonated strongly with me. The themes and characters are gripping.
Such a pity it was not made fifty years ago so that it could now be watched in authentic black and white. I've not noticed it on general release in the UK. I can't imagine why not - it will become a classic. I watched it without seeing any of the credits first, but recognised it after just a few minutes as the work of Stephen Poliakoff.
Watching this film gave me much pleasure. I commend it highly.
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