6.1/10
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8 user 2 critic

The Man in Black (1949)

A yogi seemingly dies while simulating death and his evil second wife, and her daughter, try to force his daughter into insanity for control of his estate.

Director:

Francis Searle

Writers:

John Dickson Carr (radio series Appointment with Fear), John Gilling (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Betty Ann Davies ... Bertha Clavering
Sheila Burrell Sheila Burrell ... Janice
Sidney James ... Henry Clavering / Hodson
Anthony Forwood ... Victor Harrington
Hazel Penwarden Hazel Penwarden ... Joan Clavering
Valentine Dyall ... The Man in Black - Story-Teller
Courtney Hope Courtney Hope ... Mrs. Carter
Mollie Palmer Mollie Palmer ... Elsie
Laurence Baskcomb Laurence Baskcomb ... Sandford
Gerald Case Gerald Case ... Doctor
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Storyline

Henry Clavering suspects his second wife Bertha is trying to drive his daughter (by his first marriage) insane, to stop her inheriting his money. He decides to use his yoga skills to pretend to be dead, and thereby expose her villainy. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Thriller

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 1950 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hammer Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (United Programmes Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hazel Penwarden receives an "introducing" credit. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A poor heiress exposed at the mercy of a beautiful stepmother and her vicious daughter
24 January 2019 | by clanciaiSee all my reviews

This is a chamber drama of a family, as a rich dying father leaves everything to his only daughter, who is beset by her stepmother and her daughter (who then isn't even her half-sister), who of course are interested in the inheritance, as the father only leaves them morsels. The intrigue is how they will go about it, and their method is very similar to that of "Gaslight". There is an old servant of the manor, usuallly drunk, however, whom they don't bother to count with, which is their mistake. They don't get any help either from the opportunist wooer, who thinks it will be easy to marry the heiress for her money, even though he accidentally succeeds in killing the old drunk. The whole thing gets increasingly messed up, and the greedy ladies gradually lose control of what is happening. But it is a very intelligent intrigue, all the absurd turnings of the tale are quite logical when you analyse them, but it could have been made a so much better film. As it is, it is too much condensed, which makes it superficial. A man like Hitchcock would have been needed to film a drama like this, he wouldn't have missed the opportunity for suspense and surprise, but taken better care of the vital crucial moments.


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