Thursday, 10 December 2015

DECEMBER 10, 2015

GRIP OF THE STRANGLER/The Haunted Strangler (1958) Directed by Robert Day **

The first of two films produced by Richard Gordon and directed by Robert Day in 1958 which marked Karloff's return to English films for the first time since the mid-1930's. A Jekyll and Hyde like tale set in Victorian London with Karloff as the elderly author trying to prove the true identity of "The Haymarket Strangler", supposedly executed years before. Given the actor's age of 70 and his health problems the most surprising thing about the film is the athletic quality of the lead performance, even given that some of the more strenuous parts featured a stunt man. In the mid-60's I was lucky enough to meet actor Tim Turner (best remembered today as the voice of THE INVISIBLE MAN in the popular TV series and as narrator of the LOOK AT LIFE documentaries shown at Rank cinemas). Turner told me that working with Karloff on this film was one of the most pleasant experiences of his career. The film itself (available on DVD) is no classic but is competently made with a good cast.

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