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Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Teckman Mystery (1954)

A crime novelist (John Justin) is commissioned by his publisher (Raymond Huntley) to write the biography of a test pilot (Michael Medwin) who died while testing a new plane. But when he suddenly receives a job offer that would make him postpone the book, his apartment is ransacked and people involved in Teckman's story start turning up dead ... he begins to suspect someone doesn't want this book written! Directed by Wendy Toye, one of Britain's rare woman directors. This cold war thriller may be second tier but if you're a sucker for mysteries (as I am), it proves to be a diverting puzzle. The mystery's resolution is a bit muddled and the final confrontation rings false but I suspect the film makers painted themselves into a corner and wanted to go out with a splash (literally). John Justin (1940's THIEF OF BAGDAD) is a rather dull leading man but fortunately there's Margaret Leighton as the pilot's sister who brings a quiet authority and necessary ambiguity to her role. With Roland Culver and George Coulouris.

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