Director: Alastair Reid
Starring: Patricia Neal, Pamela Brown, Nicholas Clay, Jean Anderson, Graham Crowden, Yootha Joyce
More info: IMDb
Tagline: A lonely woman in a decaying mansion... A young stranger on a big, black bike.
Plot: Effective psychological love story with a macabre twist not found in the original Joy Cowley novel. The dreary existence of middle- aged spinster Maura Prince takes an unexpected turn with the arrival of young handyman Billy Jarvis, but there is more to Billy than meets the eye. This well-crafted film, full of sexual tension and Gothic flavor, was Patricia Neal's second after her return to acting, her real-life stroke worked deftly into the story by then-husband Roald Dahl.
My rating: 5.5/10
Will I watch it again? No.
Had I seen a good widescreen print of this it might have fared better but besides the excellent Bernard Herrmann score, it's rather slow. That's not to say it's not worthwhile but I found it boring but not so bad that you couldn't see the potential for a better film. There's just no tension. You've got the great background score but you've also got a good story that unfortunately just plods along. The performances are fine but the direction spends too much time getting from scene to scene. This is one of those pictures that I came to watch ONLY because of the composer. I'm glad I did but now that it's over, I'll just stick to listening to the soundtrack instead.