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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Long Dark Hall (1951)

When his mistress (Patricia Cutts) is murdered, a married man (Rex Harrison) becomes the chief suspect in her killing as circumstantial evidence all points to him. His wife (Lilli Palmer) stands by his side through it all. Based on the novel A CASE TO ANSWER by Edgar Lustgarten and directed by Reginald Beck and Anthony Bushell. Despite the presence of Harrison and Palmer in the leads, this is a disappointment. Since we know who the real killer is from the very beginning, there's no mystery. It's all will he or will he not be convicted for a crime he didn't commit. What irritated me the most about the film are unexplained inconsistencies. Example: after finding her body, Harrison holds the body while sobbing and then goes home, he doesn't call the police! Why? It's never explained. When the police question him, he denies knowing the girl although he had an argument with the girl's landlady (Brenda De Banzie) moments before finding her body. Didn't he think the landlady would identify him? I won't even go in Palmer's unquestioned loyalty toward him after he admits the affair, not even a moment of anger at being betrayed. The most interesting character is the murderer (Anthony Dawson, DR. NO) who sees himself as some sort of moral avenger. In the end, the film seems an anti-capital punishment plea. With Dennis O'Dea and Jill Bennett.

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