The Walking Stick (1970) Poster

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9/10
An underrated and lovely film...
Xanadu-219 August 1999
A very beatiful low key film about a woman and a man meeting and getting to know one another little by little. Underneath, things are not what they appear to be...

In "Walking Stick" Samantha Eggar and David Hemmings give very fine and clear performances as unseeming Londoners. The actors were very hot and coveted starlets at the end of the sixties, starring in loads of ambitious films and then later never to be heard from again... Shame really, they´re brilliant.
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7/10
Icon turns seedy.
richard-meredith2729 November 2005
David Hemmings was THE Icon of Swinging 1960's London following his performance in 'Blow Up'. Here he plays Leigh, a slightly sinister seedy artist in 1969/ 70's London, who picks up Deborah (a very beautiful Samantha Eggar) at a fashionable party in Hampstead.

Leigh is a sordid betrayer and crook who may be only using Deborah to gain access to the auction house she works in. When she realises this, Deborah proves to be capable of dealing with the problem and her walking stick, far from eliciting sympathy for her minor disability, proves to be a prop for her strengths.

It is a good example of British Cinema. A strong storyline, originally by author Winston Graham, is moved along by well lit, deep technical images of a London that has in the case of the West India Dock sequences disappeared. And unlike modern films it is not afraid of silence. The music is sparse and appropriate (check out the guitar solo. Isn't it familiar?).

This is a film to buy and watch when the alternative on a wet Bank Holiday is endless 'Carry-On' or Sitcom spin-off films being shown back-to-back on TV.
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A Movie Never To Be Forgotten
Tirelli25 March 2000
Curtailing evil, criminal intentions, a dashing young man, Leigh, seduces and persuades the dreary, moderate polio victim Deborah Dainton into falling in love with him. Deborah leads a neatly organized life, and is obligated to see it being reduced to shreds when she discovers her boyfriend is part of a gang who intends to rob the auction house in which she works in. That's when Deborah has to come to grips with the fact that Leigh may have maintained a relationship with her solely for the benefit of the heist.

This is an utterly unforgettable study on bitterness, hope and disappointment. We get to witness the magnificence of Eggar's performance as her character slowly discovers what Leigh - David Hemmings - truly had in mind when they began living together. And how Eggar manages to show that her bad leg does not stop her from being as tricky - if not trickier - than the good for nothing Leigh.

'The Walking Stick' is an emotionally-charged melodrama that does not appeal to tacky tearjerker clichés. Everything is beautifully executed in a low-key, calm and yet gut-wrenchingly real manner, with an emotionally disarming ending that will leave you sobbing.
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7/10
Quietly provocative drama about the consequences of love...
moonspinner556 July 2010
Pretty but man-shy art-appraiser in London, alienated from the opposite sex due to one leg affected by childhood polio, is courted by a struggling artist and falls in love; soon after moving in with him, however, he demands her help in a burglary, leaving her unsure whether he ever loved her or perhaps was simply using her. Flawlessly acted, rather brilliantly assembled adaptation of Winston Graham's book is a bit slow, yet incredibly assured. Director Eric Till shows a deft touch in weaving sequences together, keeping a fluid pace, and he's helped by wonderful editing and cinematography. The film examines deeply the issues of trust and love...and the consequences of those emotions when they are blind to reality. A real sleeper, with Samantha Eggar giving one of her finest performances. *** from ****
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7/10
The Walking Stick (1970) - A woman's lonely world
rexshard9313 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
When I watched the film, I thought the story of the film was just OK. Nothing special. I have seen older films with similar ideas.

But what made me like the film wasn't the story. I liked the film, because of the strong performance from Samantha Eggar and wonderful score by Stanley Myers.

David Hemmings did a fine job playing his role. But Eggar's performance was able to capture the true feelings of a woman who is physically and emotionally wounded. And Stanley Myer's great cavatina music makes the scenes memorable by capturing the lonely world of Deborah Dainton (Samantha Eggar).

But I think the script would have been far better if it was given to a director like Alfred Hitchcock. I still rate the film 7 out of 10, because of its strong points.
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7/10
Cocoa is an aphrodisiac
JohnSeal12 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
The Walking Stick features broody, moody David Hemmings as Leigh, an artist living the bohemian lifestyle in London's (then un-redeveloped) Docklands. He makes friends with crippled sweet young thing Deborah (Samantha Eggar, who specialized throughout the sixties in vulnerable female roles), a polio victim with weak legs and unloving parents (Phyllis Calvert and Ferdy Mayne). But Leigh has an ulterior motive: he's going to use Deborah to help him rob the auction house at which she works. If moral ambiguity is your bag, or if you're a fan of either Hemmings or Eggar, you won't want to miss this very special, very rare treat. Also of note: Stanley Myers' terrific score, sometimes lush, sometimes swinging, and Arthur Ibbetson's frequently stunning, beautifully composed cinematography.
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10/10
Would love to see
roxannequiasua2 December 2007
Looking for this movie Please . I cannot find for rent or purchase anywhere, have tried library's ,Online Video stores, but no hope I would love to see this movie. I cannot believe , it must be out of print.

I recently saw the Movie - Blow up and loved it and bought it, David Hemming is truly an i-conic actor indeed and have read the story line on the walking stick, it sound interesting. If anyone has information on where I can locate the film Please let me know I thought for sure this database would have it for sale. I love classics like these ones and collect them all.
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7/10
A little-known and surprisingly good psychological thriller.
MOscarbradley9 May 2019
Based on a Winston Graham novel, (he of "Marnie" fame), Eric Till's "The Walking Stick" is, perhaps surprisingly, a good psychological thriller that came and went without too many people seeing it. Okay, Till was no Hitchcock, (this was only his second feature after the excellent, and again little-seen and underrated, "Hot Millions"), and the film does suffer from a little too much soft-focus prettiness at times but he does make great use of his London locations, draws first-rate performances from leads David Hemmings and Samantha Eggar and ensures the thriller plot builds to a reasonably satisfactory climax.

Eggar is the girl whose early polio means she has to use the walking stick of the title and Hemmings is the not particularly good painter she meets at a party. They start a romance but then she begins to suspect he may not be all that he first seemed. Others caught up in proceedings include Emlyn Williams as Hemmings' shady 'patron' and Phyllis Calvert as Eggar's somewhat aloof mother. It's certainly no classic but it is also much better than its original reputation might have suggested and is worth seeking out.
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7/10
Love enters the lonely world of a young woman - or does it.
blanche-26 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Samantha Eggar gives a wonderful performance along with a very effective David Hemmings in "The Walking Stick," from 1970. The beautiful Eggar is Deborah, a young woman who suffered from polio as a child and now has a bad leg; for this reason, she has to use a cane. She believes she is damaged goods, unattractive, and unwanted. She works at an auction house as their porcelain expert and lives with her parents, who don't seem to understand her.

One evening she ventures out to a party and meets Leigh Hartley, an aspiring artist, who is attractive but persistent, which puts Deborah off. Eventually she agrees to see him, and they become friends, at last lovers, and ultimately move in together, planning to start their own business.

Deborah then begins to find out that Leigh has not been honest about his past, but the final blow has yet to be struck: He and his mates want to rob the auction house and need her to do it.

This is a slow film, but the acting is very good, and the story is absorbing and sad. And it leaves one with a few questions, though ultimately I think, like Deborah, we know the answers.

The most brutal part of the film is when Deborah does her part at the auction house and, in the way of the robbers, one grabs her and literally throws her out of the way.

Thought-provoking, and one asks what it is about love that makes so darn blind all the time. We'll never know the answer.
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Too drawn out
Wizard-82 December 2013
There may be some people who will object to the core premise of "The Walking Stick" by saying that they've seen the same basic premise in other movies before. I don't object to seeing the same premise again as long as the story is retold professionally and with a fresh light. Indeed, one strength the movie has is that the performances are very good - Eggar and Hemmings manage to make their characters believable. Unfortunately, the script and direction are another matter. The story takes way too much time to get from one major plot turn to another - a lot of fat could have been trimmed before shooting started. Also, the direction for the most part is a little too low key. I'm not asking for a great deal of flashiness, but a little more life should have been put into the movie. I am not saying this is an awful or bad movie, but it is kind of disappointing.
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10/10
Very very good!
RodrigAndrisan10 June 2020
Three English movies "obsessed" me all my life and I always wanted to see them and watch them again and again: "The Walking Stick" (1970), "The Collector" (1965) and "Our Mother's House" (1967). And, I've seen and re-seen them many times. And I would see them again with the same great pleasure. All three have something magical. All three have also something tragic, melancholic, they are particularly sad and all three are about love, about the big failure in love. The first two star Samantha Eggar, actually, she is the movies. Her acting is impeccably perfect. She is of a unique beauty, you can't help but fall in love with her. That's what happened to me. This is not actually a review, but an eternal declaration of love, mine to Samantha Eggar. She really convinces you that is a crippled person here, that she has polio. There are two other great actors in the film, David Hemmings and Dudley Sutton. Excellent director Eric Till, excellent music, an exceptional film.
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Lame
tedg26 June 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers herein.

Someone thought to produce a glossy art film, a lowbrow face on a highbrow idea. Early in the game, we are told as much in a discussion of `Wild Strawberries' early in the story.

Unhappily, this suffers from Hollywooditis, a malady that hobbles every intelligent thing it attempts. One can see it mirrored in the story itself -- at least that is some pleasure. The enterprise of `stealing' the art is done by incompetents. Same in real life. The affair is botched, and the hobbled actress writes it up and sends it to us. The art is lost.
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