Monday, 14 September 2009

RECOIL (1953)

Nice English B/W thriller that occasionally attains something approaching a Film Noir feel (there is a sad tendency these days to label any B/W crime film as Film Noir - it just isn't so) but this has an atmospheric opening as a gang prepare to rob a jewellers - night time, fog, trenchcoats etc. IT occured to me later that the robbery itself is so totally badly planned that it really doesn't make much sense but I didn't think of it at the time. The jeweller is killed but his daughter sees the killer. As the police can't build a case against him she decides to go undercover and infiltrates the home of the killer's brother. Slowly she is drawn into the world of the rival gangs. A good cast is headed by Elizabeth Sellars and Keiron Moore and there is a nice piece of swarthy villainy from Martin Benson as a gang leader. One of my favourite supporting actors of the period, Michael Balfour, turns up in one scene but is sadly not seen again. Director John Gilling does an efficien t job, particularly in the action scenes - an ambush outside a night club and a shootout in a warehouse are a cut above those usually seen in English crime films of this period. I wouldn't go as far as to call the film outstanding but it'll keep you watching. Rating ***

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