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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Murder By Proxy (aka Blackout) (1954)

A down and out American (Dane Clark) in London meets a beautiful blonde (Belinda Lee) who proceeds to offer him money to marry her. He agrees but he wakes up the next day with blood on his clothes and the police on his tail for the murder of his father in law. Based on the novel by Helen Nielsen and directed by Terence Fisher (CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN). This minor Hammer programmer is a tight piece of British noir. With the exception of one rather sentimental and stagnant scene where the protagonist is reunited with his estranged mother (Nora Gordon), the movie is a surprisingly effective crime drama and its denouement isn't telegraphed. The film keeps you on your cinematic toes and you're never quite sure who to trust. While Belinda Lee makes for a seductive femme fatale, I was hoping the film's nice girl (Eleanor Summerfield) would end up with the film's hero. With Cleo Laine, Betty Ann Davies, Andrew Osborn and Harold Lang.

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