6.0/10
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4 user 1 critic

Three Steps in the Dark (1953)

| Crime, Drama, Mystery
A country house, a patriarch, a fallout amongst siblings, a butler, a housemaid and each of them have secrets, a perfect setting for a classic who done it!

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Cast

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Sophy Burgoyne
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Philip Burgoyne
...
Arnold Burgoyne
John Van Eyssen ...
Henry Burgoyne
Sarah Lawson ...
Dorothy
Elwyn Brook-Jones ...
Wilbrahim
Hélène Cordet ...
Esme (as Helene Cordet)
...
Inspector Forbes
...
Mrs. Riddle
Alan Robinson
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A country house, a patriarch, a fallout amongst siblings, a butler, a housemaid and each of them have secrets, a perfect setting for a classic who done it!

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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(RCA Sound System)

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1.37 : 1
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One of the "75 Most Wanted" films listed by the British Film Institute as "Missing, believed lost". See more »

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But who fired the final shot? And who died? What is your proof?
21 November 2016 | by See all my reviews

While this is a familiar and formulaic murder-mystery tale (discussion of a Will with all relatives seated around a long table), so too is the easy dismissal of it formulaic - and rather lazy. These are rubber-stamp reviews, rather like "quota-quickie" rubber stamp as if to give something a familiar label is to properly describe it.

Yes one wonders if the studios ever broke the old house dark wood panelled set, it seemed to appear so regularly. Did the elderly butler ever change out of costume, or merely have a cigarette and coffee during the short break between the same role in films from the '30s - '50s? But this is a murder mystery and while the setting was by this time thoroughly hackneyed, there is some intelligence and creativity in the plot. Audiences for this type of film did not come for the cinematography or the exotic locations, they came to follow the plot and see if they could guess who dunnit. Rather than sit at home reading an Agatha Christie, they chose to go out Saturday night and sit in their local cinema watching the same stuff as they read at home. The clues and plot details are what interest them and there are plenty here.

The lovely Greta Gynt is her usual intelligent cool self, displaying this time a pretty full range of emotions. Mrs Lop-Sided from the Lady Killers (Katie Johnson) is her demure self.

But who really did fire the final shot - we don't actual see who did - or who died, or if they died. All we see is a horrified/saddened expression. My money's on Mrs Lop-Sided, after all she dun the East Castle Street job. I'm sticking with Ma.


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