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Paul Decker murders his wife in her Italian villa by drugging her milk and asphyxiating her by gas. He cleverly locks the bedroom from the inside and hides inside a trapdoor in the floor until after the body is discovered by servants. He uses a scuba snorkel connected to tubes on the outside to breathe during the ordeal. Decker's stepdaughter Candy suspects him immediately, especially since no suicide note was found. She also is convinced that he murdered her father years before, but her accusations fall on deaf ears. The ruthless Decker even poisons the family spaniel when the pet takes too great an interest in the mask and realizes he will ultimately have to get rid of Candy too.Written by
Although the police have termed her mother's death by gas a suicide, a teenage girl (Mandy Miller) believes her step-father (Peter VanEyck) murdered her.
Hammer may be best known for their horror films, but they made some pretty fine thrillers and murder mysteries, too, as this film attests. Helmed by Guy Green (who made his name under David Lean) and written by Hammer's Jimmy Sangster, this is just pure genius beginning to end.
From the opening scene, we know how the killer does his work... but then we watch and see if his teenage stepdaughter can find out. Blaming someone for murder is one thing, but finding solid proof is something else entirely.
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