An American in London, down on his luck, runs into a beautiful blonde in a bar who offers him a lot of money to marry her. Broke and unemployed, he takes her up on it. When he wakes up the ... See full summary »
Crowds flock to a carnival sideshow to see "The Starving Man", a heavyset man who claims he can go 70 days without eating. However, a couple of murders occur at the carnival, resulting in the police becoming involved.
A man on a fishing trip with three of his friends receives a blow to the head that makes him lose his memory. Three years later it all comes back to him, but on the day it does one of the men who was on the trip with him turns up dead.
The married owner of a bookstore is attracted to his sexy blonde clerk. He finally gives in to temptation and makes a pass at her, but that only results in him getting enmeshed in blackmail and murder.
In London, the businessman James Nevill is the president of Amalgamated Industries and adores his wife Andrea. When he is betrayed by his uncle Cyrus McGowan in a risky business that will bankrupt the company, he decides to force his former friend Paul Kirby to kill him so that Andrea receives a life insurance policy to have a good life. However Kirby refuses and devastated with the proposal, he drinks too much disclosing the request in public in his girlfriend's bar. Out of the blue, James' uncle changes his position and the business succeeds. James tries to find Kirby to call off their arrangement but does not locate him. After three attempts of murder, James suspects that Kirby is not who is trying to kill him.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I'd always been interested in catching some of the films from Hammer's pre-horror boom; so far, the only title I'd come across was PHANTOM SHIP (1935) which was made a couple of decades before the studio reached its peak period but which, presciently, starred one of the era's horror icons Bela Lugosi.
Anyway, Hammer apparently made a whole slew of ultra low-budget noirs featuring either faded American stars or second-tier leading men. This one, then, happened to be shown on late-night Italian TV and, knowing it's been released on DVD by VCI, I made it a point to check it out. It turned out to be a decidedly modest but not unpleasing little film: the star in this case is Dane Clark (not exactly top rank, you see) and, as I lay watching, felt that he wasn't really noir material an opinion which, incidentally, I would change the very next day when I saw this same actor in the superior French-made GUNMAN IN THE STREETS (1950)! The plot, though far-fetched, is engaging: Clark's business fails and, in order to provide for his wife, proposes to have himself killed so that she can collect on his insurance; soon after, his fortune unexpectedly turns and he desperately seeks to stop his killer from carrying out the assigned task!
Even if I watched the film dubbed in Italian, the London settings and character types offer a whole different atmosphere to the American noirs the same thing goes for the French locations of GUNMAN IN THE STREETS and this does help keep one's mind off the measly production values. The denouement provides a few surprises Clark's wife emerges a villainess (which allows him free rein with the devoted secretary who had really loved him all along), the attempts on his life turn out not to have been done by the person he paid expressly for that purpose which elevates the whole slightly than would otherwise have been the case. Besides, the film is short enough at 75 minutes not to overstay its welcome or allow the proceedings to slip into tedium. By the way, the original British title of this one is FIVE DAYS (the period of time over which events take place) but got changed to the more evocative PAID TO KILL for the U.S.
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