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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Twilight Women (1952)

A woman (Freda Jackson) runs a boarding house that takes in unwed mothers under the guise of charity. But in reality, she's a sadistic and ruthless blackmailer and sells babies on the black market. This rather lurid exploitation film is based on a play by Sylvia Rayman and the film, directed by Gordon Parry, is too oddly compelling not to be diverting but it's an overwrought piece of melodrama. Jackson is quite good, seemingly kind on the surface but concealing a demon underneath. Among her boarders, the standouts are Rene Ray as the mistress of a convicted killer (Laurence Harvey) and Lois Maxwell (Miss Moneypenny of the Bond films) as a young woman separated from her lover. The often sunny score by Allan Gray seems somewhat inappropriate considering the subject matter. With Dora Bryan and Vida Hope.

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