Sunday, March 9, 2014

Blackout (1954)

Original title: Murder by Proxy

Director: Terence Fisher

Writers: Richard H. Landau, Helen Nielsen

Composer: Ivor Slaney

Starring: Dane Clark, Belinda Lee, Betty Ann Davies, Eleanor Summerfield, Andrew Osborn, Harold Lang, Jill Melford, Alvys Maben, Michael Golden, Nora Gordon, Alfie Bass, Ann Gow, Cleo Laine, Delphi Lawrence

More info: IMDb

Tagline: A man without a memory can't fight back!

Plot: An American in London, down on his luck, runs into a beautiful blonde in a bar who offers him a lot of money to marry her. Broke and unemployed, he takes her up on it. When he wakes up the next day, he finds himself in a strange room that turns out to be an artist's studio, there is blood on his coat, and he discovers that his new "wife's" father had been murdered the night before.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again?  Yes.

This is probably my favorite picture from the 6-film set of Hammer Film Noir vol. 1.  Dane Cook does a great job, as does everyone else.  I was worried at first because he wasn't believable as a crime boss in another picture in the set, THE GAMBLER AND THE LADY (1952).  But as a chump who gets taken advantage of by a hot young gal he's in love with...well, he's right on!  The story and Fisher's tight direction are the biggest stars of the show.  Is the bad news babe good or bad?  Does she really dig Casey (Clark) or is she just using him?  These questions change answers frequently and it's a big part of what I love about this film.  It'll keep you guessing, and re-guessing, until the last possible moment.  It's a great 87 minute ride and it's worth the price of the Hammer set.  Now that I've seen all of these pictures it's time to bust out volume 2.

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