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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Turn The Key Softly (1953)

Taking place all in one day, the film follows three women who are released from prison on the same morning. A woman (Yvonne Mitchell) who took the rap for a crime her lover (Terence Morgan) committed, a young prostitute (Joan Collins) and an elderly grandmother (Kathleen Harrison) arrested for shoplifting. Each will spend their day in a different way before meeting up for dinner that evening after which fate gives some of them a second chance ... or not. Unlike most films of this type, this isn't a cautionary tale but a fairly realistic look about three essentially decent women who find themselves torn between destructive impulses they can't seem to help and an innate knowledge to do the right thing. Harrison's story is the most poignant and the most heartbreaking and it's interesting to see the young Collins showing much promise as an actress (a promise never quite fulfilled). Mitchell's character is the most frustrating because she's the most intelligent of the three women yet can't seem to see the obvious trap waiting for her. A neat little piece of social commentary that gets its message across without the preaching. Directed by Jack Lee from the novel by John Brophy. With Dorothy Alison, Thora Hird, Geoffrey Keen and Simone Silva.

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