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Monday, September 28, 2015

Venetian Bird (1952)

An English private detective (Richard Todd) goes to Venice in search of a missing man. But when he gets there, it seems someone doesn't want the man (John Gregson) found. A corpse pulled out of the canal is just the beginning of something much bigger than he ever anticipated. Based on the novel by Victor Canning (FAMILY PLOT), who also did the screenplay, this is a rather muddled thriller that needed a more nimble hand than the director Ralph Thomas is able to give it. The film seems to suggest Carol Reed's THE THIRD MAN with Venice standing in for Vienna. Like Welles in Reed's film, Gregson doesn't appear until the film's final third and Eva Bartok (THE CRIMSON PIRATE) is similar to Alida Valli's character from that movie. The Venice locations as shot by Ernest Steward are quite handsome. Still, for a wannabe, after a slow beginning, the pace picks up and it's moderately engaging. The perfectly mediocre score is by Nino Rota. With Margot Grahame, George Coulouris, Walter Rilla and Sidney James.  

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