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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Stranger In The House (aka Cop Out) (1967)

A washed up alcoholic (James Mason) was once a brilliant defense attorney. But when his estranged daughter's (Geraldine Chaplin) boyfriend (Paul Bertoya, who's just awful) is accused of murdering an American criminal (Bobby Darin) in hiding from the law, he takes on the case as the boy's lawyer. Based on the 1940 novel LES INCONNUS DANS LA MAISON  by Georges Simenon (previously made as a film in 1942 with Raimu) and directed by Pierre Rouve. The 1940 source material is gussied up with 1960s swinging London trimmings. The youth in the film are all wild kids on a lark but behavior that seemed trendy and hip and anti establishment in the 1960s comes across as jerk-ish today. The film is incoherent for most of its running time before coalescing somewhat in the film's last half hour that comes across as the finale of a PERRY MASON episode. The acting is poor all around and I don't think I've seen James Mason gives a worse performance though I can't tell if it's unintentional bad acting or Mason hates his part so much he actively sabotages his own performance. The best thing about the film is the underscore by John Scott. With Yootha Joyce, Ian Oglivy, Megs Jenkins, Moira Lister and Bryan Stanyon.  

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