In prison, two inmates are getting out soon. One, soon getting out, has been sent up for a heist of several thousand pounds, still not recovered. The other, getting out before him, pumps ...
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In prison, two inmates are getting out soon. One, soon getting out, has been sent up for a heist of several thousand pounds, still not recovered. The other, getting out before him, pumps the other for details of his home life, so he he can assume the other's identity and get to the loot first.Written by
The Edgar Wallace mysteries could be quite tiresome, though they usually presented a fascinating glimpse of comfortable middle class life subverted by crime, hypocrisy or accident, almost always in Surrey, just before the swinging 60s hit Britain. Good acting, short running times, familiar character actors doing their shtick and pedestrian scripts with a twist at the end often but not always combined to produce a satisfactory hour or so of entertainment.
Face of a Stranger is in many ways a departure from the template. Determinedly working class, with unusually decent accents from the principals Jeremy Kemp and Philip Locke, a bit of unlikely romance, a bit of pathos - and then the twist in the tail. The acting is uniformly excellent, with small early roles for Jean Marsh as a faithless wife and Mike Pratt (Jeff Randall) as the lower-class Lothario. Bernard Archard's gamekeeper is splendidly sinister, while Kemp's own performance, sweaty insecurity clashing with outward confidence, and his gradual grasp of the sleazy possibilities of his position, is at times brilliant. Shaky documentary style hand-held camera gives a sense of verite, albeit tainted with a bit of seasickness for the audience.
It's on the slow side, but worth it for the last five minutes.
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