An actress is murdered by her estranged husband, who is jealous of all of her young boyfriends. The next day, writer Robert Tisdall (who happens to be one such boyfriend) discovers her body on the beach. He runs to call the police, however, two witnesses think that he is the escaping murderer. Robert is arrested, but owing to a mix-up at the courthouse, he escapes and goes on the run with a Police Constable's daughter Erica, determined to prove his innocence.Written by
Col Needham <email@example.com>
Though this movie is officially based on the novel "A Shilling for Candles" by Elizabeth Mackintosh (writing under the name "Josephine Tey"), Sir Alfred Hitchcock and his writers only used about one-third of the novel, and changed the identity of the murderer. See more »
About 50 minutes into the film, when Erica Burgoyne and Robert Tisdall have taken refuge at night in a small town, by parking her car next to a siding just before where the railroad underpasses a bridge, the entire scene has been staged and shot as an obvious miniature, as revealed by three mistakes: the somewhat jerky motion and unnatural lighting of an automobile (indicating that it was pulled) as it moves across the bridge, above the railroad; the express train speeding under the bridge drags a length of cord behind it, as it disappears from view; the camera tracking in closer to the parked automobile hidden in the shelter of freight trains on sidings, reveals that the figures of Erica and Robert are actually modeled and painted figurines, motionless until the shot suddenly changes to a medium close-up shot of the two actors. See more »
Don't shout, I tell you! Don't shout!
See more »
The screen credits list (seventh in order) a character "Guy", but no character is ever named "Guy" in the movie. The actor matched up in the credits with this non-existent character is George Curzon; Curzon in fact plays the husband of Christine Clay and has a substantial scene with her in the opening scene of the movie. See more »
Aside from the suspense, there are several notable scenes. Two minutes into things, and a man opens a front door. Suddenly facing us just beyond the railing is a roiling wall of water, an angry sea about to pour over us. I grabbed my seat cushion, hoping it would float. Then there's the flop house full of snoring vagrants, dead cockroaches, and peeling paint. Right away, I reached past my highball glass and took the wife's Coke. Topping that, is the drive into the mine tunnel. It's a marvel of special effects and timing, with an effect as stunning, I believe, as anything in today's digitally drenched cinema. Nonetheless, I checked the garage to make sure my car was still on all fours. The final scene was a contrast since I'd just watched a 40's musical with wild-man drummer Gene Krupa. Here, it's like watching a wind-up toy slowly losing its mind.
Nova Pilbeam is not exactly a glamor girl, with her over-sized brow and snub nose; still and all, for an 18 -year old she's one heck of an actress. This is a pretty slender exercise for Hitchcock, nothing terribly profound and a lot like The Thirty-Nine steps of two years before. Too bad De Marney doesn't generate the kind of charisma or sympathy the Robert Donat part calls for. Hitchcock was to plow this furrow of racing against the law a number of times. Here, it's Pilbeam going against her civic duty and constable father to help prove accused murderer De Marney's innocence. Their bond of trust grows over time, showing once more that young love often sees what the law cannot-- at least as far as the movies are concerned.
This may not be top-flight Hitchcock. Still, there are the usual humorous touches, darkly suggestive moments, and imaginative moves with the camera. So if you've got a spare hour and half, see why England should never have allowed that funny looking, fat guy an exit visa.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this