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A fine film well worth watching.
The Man Who Could Cheat Death is a remake of The Man In Half Moon Street, the stage version of which also starred Anton Diffring. The book of this title gives much more back-ground to the character of Georges Bonnet which explains his actions, but unfortunately is lost in the film version, but I think Anton Diffring conveys the torturous life of Bonnet very well. Although he appears cold and heartless he is in fact in desperate need of being loved in a secure relationship, but because of his past he cannot allow himself to achieve this. He is incapable of understanding why his actions are so wrong, and this makes him a vulnerable character despite his obvious intelligence, success and wealth and in the end invokes pity from the audience. I believe Peter Cushing was originally down to play the starring role in this film opposite his familiar adversary Christopher Lee, but because of other commitments he had to turn down the part and suggested Diffring instead. From appearing cold and heartless to pleading and frightened I think Anton Diffring excels in this film and was the perfect choice for the role, although in some parts the acting would have benefited from more positive directing. Christopher Lee and Hazel Court are excellent in their roles and give fine performances in what is a thought provoking and beautifully shot film.
The Traitor (1957)
Excellent British thriller!
This is a wonderful example of post-war British thrillers at their very best. Members of a French Resistance unit meet each year in England on the anniversary of their leaders death at the hands of a traitor in their midst. When they learn that the identity of the person responsible for this treacherous act is about to become known he or she decides to prevent their secret from being revealed. The ensemble cast are all ideal for their roles, Anton Diffring stands out as a concert pianist instead of his usual role as a nasty Nazi. He really could play the piano well, although I don't think he played the score in this film. It is difficult to guess who the murderer is, I'm still not sure how the investigating military officer comes to his conclusion, but I have watched this film dozens of times and never tire of going along for the ride! It is good to see Christopher Lee also playing a role other than his well-known vampire ones, along with many other well-known European faces, especially Jane Griffiths. This film is impossible to find on video or DVD so if you have the chance to see it don't let the opportunity pass you by!