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  • In 1947 Ronald Colman won an Oscar for Best Actor by portraying an actor who becomes obsessed with the role he is playing .This was Othello ,in Shakespeare's play of the same name .The obsession turns into violence and insanity .It was an A movie production featuring the acclaimed Colman and with the prestigious A list director George Cukor behind the camera . The Brighton Strangler was made 2 years earlier and deals essentially with the same theme but has more modest ambitions .It aims merely to be a neat little chiller and it achieves this ambition with some distinction .John Loder plays an actor in the West End of London during the German blitz on the city in World War 2 .He is playing a strangler in a long running play ;when the theatre is levelled by a German bomb he is rendered unconscious but survives .On waking he is an amnesiac and begins wandering the London streets in a dazed condition .He finds himself at Victoria railway station where he overhears a chance remark from a stranger that is an exact duplicate of one from the play .Convinved that he is really a strangler he boards a train for the seaside resort of Brighton where he begins to re-enact his stage role by embarking on a string of strangulation murders ,his steps dogged by the police. Loder is good and Max Nosseck directs with due skill aided by a good script. The supporting cast is capable and the movie will pass an hour or so with some pleasure for the viewer . Its not a major work but is a good study of dual personality along Jekyll and Hyde lines
  • The Brighton Strangler is another movie that BBC2 shown in the early hours over Christmas/New Year 2005-06 and I was certainly glad I taped this.

    An actor who plays the part of The Brighton Strangler in the play of the same name is knocked unconscious by rubble during an air raid and has a memory lapse. When he wakes up, he thinks he is in the play and heads for Brighton instead of Canterbury, where he is meant to go. In Brighton, he starts strangling people including the Mayor and Chief Inspector. Police catch up with him in the end and realise what's happened to him.

    The Brighton Strangler is rather eerie in parts, especially the nighttime scenes.

    The cast includes John Loder in the title role and Jane Duprez, Ian Wolfe.

    Watch this if you get the chance. Very eerie and obscure little movie.

    Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
  • During WW II as one of the Luftwafte air raids hits London, Reginald Parker, a successful actor, is knocked out and heavily concussed. Upon awaking he believes himself to be Edward Grey, the notorious Brighton Strangler he has been portraying on the stage!

    Clocking in at just 67 minutes, The Brighton Strangler just about has enough time to get in and do it's job excellently. Something of an under seen gem, it's a film that has enough creepy menace about it to reward the black and white thriller fan. Boasting excellent sets, some very neat camera work from director Max Nosseck and a fabulous lead performance from John Loder, I personally feel that it deserves to be seen by more people. Typically it's a picture that rarely gets aired on British TV, and when it does it's sadly tucked away on BBC 2 at some ungodly hour in the AM. Until film's like this get decent exposure from our TV schedulers then they are going to remain criminally under seen. So keep your eyes out for this one, the formula may now be seen as old hat, but transport yourself back to 1945, out in the London smog and be wary of that hatted man coming towards you.........8/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The most popular play on the West End is "The Brighton Strangler". It is the last performance for Reginald Parker as he wants a rest from being "a strangler" and to spend more time with his fiancée Dorothy Kent (Rose Hobart). She is also writing a new play for him.

    Parker is a gentle and kind man, but caught in a bomb blast at the theatre, he literally becomes Edward Grey, the character he played in "The Brighton Strangler". He goes to Victoria Station and meets April (June Duprez) who is going to Brighton to visit her parents for Christmas. The word "Brighton" triggers an association in his brain, so he goes there too.

    He then sets about recreating the play - killing first the Mayor, who he feels sent him to jail - the Mayor (Ian Wolff) doesn't know a thing about it of course. His next victim is Inspector Allison (Miles Mander). April is to meet her husband (she is secretly married but because her parents have recently lost their son in the war she doesn't want to tell them.) She asks Grey to give her an alibi by going to a concert that she is supposed to be attending. He uses the concert as an alibi for himself so he can kill the Inspector and then get back to the concert without causing suspicion. April's husband is called back to his base so April can go to the concert after all but she doesn't see Grey there.

    The film ends as the film began - with the final scene from the play "The Brighton Strangler". I really enjoyed this film a lot more than "A Double Life" which I found a bit dull.

    John Loder is good as always - I just loved him in "Non Stop New York" - he plays Reginald Parker. The beautiful June Duprez's most important film was "The Four Feathers" (1939), the technicolor showing off her dazzling beauty. She plays April. Rose Hobart was an American actress whose most famous role was as Muriel Carew in "Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde" (1931) - she fitted in well with the English cast as Dorothy Kent.
  • Though the film is sometimes hard to take, and had flimsy scenes, Loder is great as the actor overcome by shock, who becomes the character he was portraying on stage, a maniacal strangler! Certainly worth seeing on TV, since it does note seem available on video. And try to catch some of Nosseck's other flics, as he was in interesting german director, and handled noir well, especially with Lawrence Tierney.
  • John Loder plays Reginald Parker, an actor whose portrayal of a serial killer has made him the toast of London's theater district. During the height of the german blitz Parker has tirelessly played the part to sold out crowds seeking diversion from the horrors of world war 2.

    After nearly two years of constant work Parker is on the brink of exhaustion. When his wife and friends demand he take a break he agrees grudgingly but only after one last performance for on leave military personnel.

    That night Parker stays late at the theater to review some last minute additions to the script. As he reads german bombers attack London. A stray bomb strikes the theater causing the roof to collapse on the unfortunate actor. He survives but recieves a nasty blow to the head. The blow gives him partial amnesia allowing him to recall nothing save that of the part he has paractically lived for the last two years.

    Believing the details of the script are actual memories he comes to believe he is the Brighton Strangler. So it is off to Brighton where he begins hunting down those who resemble his victims from the play.

    The plot is a rather far fetched and the story sags in the middle. But John Loder's tormented transform from kindly actor to maniacal killer makes the film worth a look.
  • In 1945 London a kind, gentle actor Reginald Parker (John Loder) is performing in a play called "The Brighton Strangler". During an air raid he's hit on the head. When he regains consciousness he has amnesia and begins playing out his character from the play.

    The plot is old now but was probably new in 1945 and it is extremely well-done. The script is fast, there's good quick direction and there are some very creepy sequences. The acting by Loder is just great--he let's you see the confusion and hatred hiding behind his very gentle exterior. He reminded me of Laird Cregar who played similar roles in "The Lodger" (1944) and "Hangover Square" (1945). My guess is that this was made to cash in on the Cregar movies (both were huge hits).

    The sets are just gorgeous and there's some truly funny comic relief -- both intentional and unintentional (it's hard to keep a straight face when one character keeps saying "swell" all the time). The only bad thing is June Duprez--she's beautiful but a very poor actress.

    Well worth seeing if just for Loder. Why wasn't he more well known?
  • blanche-210 September 2014
    Warning: Spoilers
    I love British mysteries, and having a mystery done during wartime makes "The Brighton Strangler" even better.

    The plot is similar to "A Double Life" from 1947, concerning an actor (Ronald Colman) playing Othello who starts strangling women in real life.

    In this film, an actor, Reginald Parker (John Loder) plays the Brighton Strangler in a long-running play. After closing night, as he's in his dressing room, there's a bombing. The theater is hit, and he's knocked unconscious. When he comes to, he confuses the play with reality, to the extent that he gives his name as Edward Grey, the name of his character.

    After boarding the train to Brighton, he meets a young WAC (June Duprez) who sees that he's wounded and helps him. He's invited to her home. Little does anyone know that he's following the script of the play.

    Atmospheric thriller with a great rooftop set at the end. Lots of references to things like clothing coupons and the war.

    People here are raving about John Loder; I found him fairly one note. I also didn't find the play he appeared in very well directed. The first scene is from the play, and Edward Grey announces to the young woman he's with that he's the Brighton Strangler. There he is, with silk rope in his hand, and she just stands there. . Oh, well, you can't have everything. Really enjoyable.
  • The was a British film portraying a stage actor who is hit on the head during a bombing in World War II raid on London and then acts the "strangler" in the play he's in, forgetting that he's just an actor. It's an interesting premise. Most of the plot was pretty obvious but there was a twist or two thrown in which kept my attention.

    However, to be honest, after about 40 minutes my mind started to wander, as the movie just plodded along. A story about a guy with "multiple personalities," so to speak, someone who can't distinguish anymore between fact and fiction, and winds up thinking he's "the Brighton Strangler" should have been a lot more interesting than it was. At 67 total minutes, there is no excuse for this to be a boring movie.

    John Loder is good in the lead as "Reginald Parker/Edward Gray," but the story doesn't live up to his performance. It just sags, big-time, in that middle section. There are major plot holes in here, too. The guy plays a "famous" actor yet no one recognizes him. I bet if someone re-made this story, it could a chilling one.
  • It would require the labors of Hercules to spoil a movie that had June Duprez in a lead role. She's startling -- those chubby cheeks, that prominent mental symphysis, those slanted feline eyes, each looking in a slightly different direction, the breathlessly smooth voice. No. She's sui generis.

    The movie isn't. It's one of several in which an actor is playing the role of a murderer on stage and gets mixed up about which role is which. Poor John Loder. He becomes amnesic after a bomb strike on his theater during the blitz, wanders around remembering nothing except bits and pieces of his stage role. It leads him to a meeting with June Duprez in Brighton where, following the play's plot, he strangles the mayor and the police commissioner. The last murder committed in the play is that of a woman who has begun to suspect him, and Duprez fits the bill in real life. Does he strangle her, you ask, kiddingly? If it's not entirely original, it's still a tidy little murder drama, nicely acted. Some comic relief is added by Michael St. Angel as an American officer -- "Gee whiz", "That cost twenty smackeroos," and"Okay, you can blow now."
  • sol-kay6 January 2011
    Warning: Spoilers
    ***SPOILERS*** It was the strange combination of playing the murderous Edward Gray in the play the "Brighton Strangler" for 300 straight performances and getting hit on the head by falling debris when a Luftaffa bomb hit the London theater he was performing at ,the Mayfair,that caused actor Reginald Parker, John Loder, to completely lose it. The poor chap started to actually believe that he in fact was the "Brighton Strangler" and in that went out of his way,in far of Brighton, to do his 301th performance as the fictitious killer Edward Gray. But this time it was not an act on Parkers part but the real thing with real victims as well!

    Predictable since you've seen it all before in Parker playing the "Brighton Srangler" on the stage at the very beginning of the movie and knowing, by Parker telegraphing it all in advance , whats going to happen well before it does in the film! Of course no one really knows what Parker, or Edward Gray as he calls himself, is planning since his play "The Brighton Strangler" wasn't that well know,like say "Hamlet", in Brighton England so his crimes there weren't at first connected with him.

    It was in London pub when US Army Air Force Let. Bob Carson, Michael St. Angel, saw a poster of the play "The Brighton Strangler" with Parker's photo that he realized that the guy was the person he entrusted to be with his fiancée British WACK April Manby, June Duprez, back in Brighton while he was on his way to the front to battle the Nazis over the skies of Europe! With Gray or Parker going through the numbers,by following the "Brighton Strangler" scrip, and murdering Brighton's Mayor Herman Clive, Ion Wolf, and top cop Inspector W.R. Allison, Milles Mander, that only thing left for him was to finish off Miss Mamby to end his charade as the "Brighton Strangler" and finally call it quits.

    ***SPOILERS*** Somewhat off the wall ending with the deranged Parker's girlfriend, who at first thought that he didn't surviver the Luftwaffe bombing, getting everyone in the movie to applaud her boyfriend's performance just as he was about to strangle April that cause him to lose his concentration and blow his big scene. Parker in him seeing what a good job of acting he did,by all the applause he got, stops strangling April and takes a bow thus falling to his death, backwards, off the roof of the hotel by not realizing how close he was to the ledge of the building! Luckily for April her murder was supposed to take place on New Years Eve which gave her and her fiancée Bob just enough time to come to her rescue! In that when Parker had a chance to murder her earlier in the movie he noticed that Big Ben wasn't ringing in the New Year and then stopped and waited for the right moment, midnight December 31th, for him to murder her!
  • RKO's great artistic team of Silvera and D'Agostino, along with stylish director Nosseck and photographer Hunt, lift the visuals to near artistic heights. Even when the story falters, the dream-like atmosphere carries the ball. It appears stage actor Parker's (Loder) head gets conked during a London air raid. Now he has trouble separating his strangler stage role from everyday reality. Needless to say, this causes problems for him and a couple of corpses he leaves behind. On the whole, Loder is excellent as the schizoid Parker. His generally low-key demeanor proves as disturbing as anything more florid. If there's a problem, it's with the script's treatment of the lovely April (Duprez), who seems impossibly naïve. Like when she goes to the dark roof with Parker even after some of his semi-loony behavior. Still, I love that amusing moment when the English maid tries politely to get her head around American slang.

    I'm impressed with Nosseck's ability to coordinate a spotty narrative into an atmospheric whole. Looks to me like he's in the Edgar Ulmer (Detour, {1945}) category, working artfully and anonymously in Hollywood's lower rungs. His American career appears limited by mostly innocuous programmers-- unlike Brighton-- which may be why he went back to Germany. Nonetheless, he appears to have a real feel for this sort of Gothic material. Overall, the 60- some minutes is close to a sleeper, except for the spotty script. It also helps show why lowly RKO was the studio of record during the post-war 1940's.
  • John Loder plays an actor named Reginald Parker, who has been starring in a long-running London play, "The Brighton Strangler". After he receives a head injury in a Nazi air raid that destroys the theater, he wanders off and takes on the identity of the character he'd been playing, a serial strangler named Edward Gray, and proceeds to become the real "Brighton Straangler".

    This is a very slow-moving piece, and Loder's performance is somewhat stiff and unmoving. The picture has a few small plot twists but otherwise it's fairly predictable. The beautiful June Duprez does a serviceable job as the wife of a young American Air Force officer who meets "Edward Gray", not realizing who he really is, and seems to be somewhat attracted to him, but nothing more is made of that. The ending is somewhat imaginative, but you still know what's going to happen.

    For a murder mystery it really doesn't whip up much tension. It's pretty cut-and-dried, with not a whole lot to really recommend it. If you're a John Loder fan you'll probably like it, but if you're not, there's really not much of a reason to see it.
  • Sometimes Stylish Director Max Nosseck made this the Same Year as His Celebrated Lawrence Tierney Film-Noir, Dillinger. This One has its Moments and is a Serviceable and Above Average Thriller.

    The Setting is London, During the War and Much is Made of Blackouts, Coupons, and Uniforms. There are Dead Flyer Brothers that Lead to Family Deceptions and All Sorts of Odd Things. It is an Air-Raid's Falling Debris that Sends Celebrated Stage Actor John Loder into an Amnesiatic Frenzy of Schizophrenia.

    That is the Premise and it is Played Out with the Beginning and Ending Acts that are the Best. It Meanders a Bit in the Middle with a Romantic Sub-Plot with an American Serviceman and some Forced Comedy about American Slang, but it Manages to Keep its Footing for the Final Curtain.

    Overall, Worth a Watch for the Life During Wartime Setting and a Few Directorial Touches. There are some Tense Murders and it is Atmospheric in Spots. Recommended for Fans of B-Movies and Thrillers, also for those that Like a Bit of a Twist in Movie Murder Sprees.
  • Reginald Parker is the writer and star of the hit play "The Brighton Strangler" although the repetitive play and the constant performances have gotten to him and, despite the sell-out crowds he plans to draw it to an end and do something different. However a bombing attack on London during opening night leaves him stumbling around on his own with a head injury. As he tries to piece things together all he can get is snippets of his play and soon he finds himself remembering the life of character Edward Grey as his own and he boards a train for Brighton.

    Although starting out with a clever (if dated) concept this film doesn't do anything of real value with it and instead just plods towards the ending that is actually quite good in a strange way. With a central idea that was probably fresh and new back in the 1940's, the film mainly focuses on following Parker as he becomes his own creation. Problem is that, past this idea and about two moments where he struggles with his conflicting memories, there is nothing to this film and it easily becomes just a simple story about the Brighton Strangler and, if Parker's play was as straightforward as this film then I cannot understand why it sold out so much! I would have liked the character of Parker/Grey to have been complex and interesting as a result of his mixed personalities but as it is he is very straightforward and lacking imagination.

    Loder is good at the start and as he becomes Grey but once he is in character (literally) he just does the basics and lacks any sort of flair or style – by the end of the closing credits I had already forgotten what he even looked like. His support is just as uninspiring with solid but unmemorable turns from Duprez, St Angel, Mander, Hobart and Evans to name the main players. The director does quite well with the sets but without the material being darker and/or deeper there was only going to be so much he could do.

    Overall this is an interesting idea but the film doesn't carry it further than that. The characters of Grey and Parker briefly cross over twice but other than that there is nothing in either of them to produce a real interest. The murders are quite engaging but without the moral darkness they are only as atmospheric as the music and direction allows them to be. Worth seeing as a light thriller but with so much missed potential it is understandable why it is rarely seen these days.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The Brighton Strangler does not set out to achieve anything in arduous storytelling, but rather is a cheeky tale that lives in Golden Age "B" movie heaven. Reginald Parker (John Loder) is the lead stage actor in a play called The Brighton Strangler. He has performed the play hundreds of times and has decided he wants to move on because he's played the "Strangler" character for so long. After his final show as the killer, a German blitz bombs the theater almost killing Parker. He is left with a head wound that bungles his mind, leading him to believe he actually is Edward Grey, or The Brighton Strangler. He is then doomed to "act" out his play with innocent people.

    While the concept is an amusing one and the imagery has some fantastic moments of long stark shadows and hands feeling the rope of a noose, John Loder's performance is just about the most lackluster acting I have ever seen. Everything about him is wooden: his expressions, his tone, and even his posture! It does, however, add to the fun of it all because he looks so silly doing it.

    Throughout the film there is not really an antagonist opposite of Parker. There is also no suspense drawn from other characters because each victim doesn't figure out what is happening. Parker just tells them what he is going to do. The only person who figures out that something is wrong and then acts upon it doesn't do so until about 10 minutes before the end, probably even less. There is no chase or tension throughout story.

    While very flawed, The Brighton Strangler is a good fun film that does not try to go beyond its identity. It's a quick easy watch at only 67 minutes. Check it out if you are a fan of old-fashioned pulpy thrillers.

    Also June Duprez's eyes on the poster are hilarious.