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  • pninson4 July 2005
    Warning: Spoilers
    ** Major Spoiler Warning** Currently available as part of a DVD double feature with the excellent "The Scar", this British mystery flick featuring Lloyd Bridges is moderately enjoyable, but takes forever to set up its premise (45 minutes out of an 80 minute movie) and the ending is preposterous, negating the entire story. (Think a certain season of "Dallas" with Bobby Ewing in the shower and you'll get the idea.) Although this is sold as film noir on the DVD, it doesn't really fit the genre. For me, noir is about finding a moral center in a morally ambiguous world. There's none of that here, none of the atmospherics, just a straight-up who done it/why done it. It borrows a page or two from "The Third Man" but is far less effective.

    If you pick up the DVD, "The Scar" is well worth your time, but this one is pretty pale by comparison.
  • It was quite common in the '50s for British B-pictures to feature a fairly famous American star in the main role. Presumably most British B-movies would not otherwise have been granted an American release. In this film, it is the turn of Lloyd Bridges to lend his talents to a brief, brisk and reasonably entertaining mystery flick.

    Bridges plays Franklin Pryor, a former US soldier returning to Britain in the 1950s to rekindle a wartime romance with Pauline French (Moira Lister). As he disembarks from the plane at London Heathrow, Pryor witnesses the assassination of another passenger, gunned down by a sniper as he walks from the plane to the terminal. To make matters worse, when Pryor reunites with his old flame she seems to know more about the killing than she is letting on. The police even begin to suspect that Pryor himself may have had a role in the murder.

    The script is reasonably engrossing, starting with the mysterious murder and building from there with plenty more intriguing goings-on. Indeed, for a while the film threatens to become something far cleverer and far more unpredictable than most films of its ilk. However, it is let down (badly at that) by a totally thoughtless twist ending which will have most viewers groaning in disappointment. Still, apart from the feeble climax this is a decent little thriller, well worth 80 minutes (or thereabouts) of anybody's time. It's a difficult film to track down, but if you're lucky enough to find it it'll do nicely for a rainy day.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "The Limping Man" has the makings of a fairly good mystery until the let down at the end of the film, which makes a more thorough review a moot point. Lloyd Bridges stars in this British film as former military man Franklin Prior returning to London to reunite with an old flame. However Pauline French (Moira Lister) may be mixed up in some kind of trouble involving the assassination of a former lover of hers. Now she's being blackmailed by, who else, the former lover, who's not really dead.

    So who's the limping man? Take your pick - the stage door manager at the theater where Helene Castle (Helene Cordet) performs walks with a cane. Assassin target turned blackmailer Kendall Brown (Tom Gill) uses a rifle fashioned as a walking stick. This would have all been wonderful fun if Bridges' character hadn't suddenly awoke from his trans-Atlantic flight to discover that he had just arrived in London, with character Brown sitting behind him on the plane. Shades of Dallas and Bobby Ewing, but at least you didn't waste an entire season of episodes to get hoodwinked. Here, it took less than an hour and a half.
  • The Limping Man is a fairly bland British B grade Noir with Lloyd Bridges imported from America to play the lead role and add appeal to a wider audience. The plot follows a reasonably intriguing path towards what should/could have been a dramatic conclusion before reaching a disappointing ending that might have been borrowed from a children's story. Despite this, the film has its moments with fine performances from Bridges and Alan Wheatley as the Inspector. Leslie Phillips appears as the inspector's subordinate and, as always, is typecast as the ladies man who ogles everything in a dress.

    Although the ending is flawed the film still has appeal as an interesting example of British Film Noir.
  • shazam19501 February 2010
    Though I rated it a 6 I watch it more than some of my other favorite choices. When the plot goes to the music hall theater the song that Helene Cordet ,the magician's assistant, sings while doing the act just knocks me out. Her french accent and slight lisp somehow combine with the music arrangement to just make the movie better for me. Maybe it injects a bit of light humor in a suspense drama. In fact I enjoyed the next musical act about dancing on a big piano keyboard MORE THAN 3 DECADES Before THE MOVIE 'big". But then I always pay attention to musical interludes in movies even though they are suppose to be incidental. I agree with other reviewers about the early cameo bits by Jean Marsh, Rachel Roberts and the Lockeed Constellation. But I frequently find myself putting the movie and going to scene 5 just to hear her sing 'Hey Presto' again. In fact similar music interludes from B movies like MAN FROM CAIRO, CARRY ON SPYING,THE RAWHIDE YEARS,GIRLS AT SEA, make me wish that the soundtracks for audio use were available.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Frank Pryor a former American GI visits London . As he gets off the plane he asks a man for a light . The man kindly does so and is shot by a sniper . The police reveal that the dead man was Kendal Brown a known criminal . Frank Pryor goes to visit an old flame Pauline French who it later transpires knew Kendal Brown

    I came to write up my review of THE LIMPING MAN and before did so looked through the comments on this page which are unanimously along the lines of " OMG what a terrible ending that totally ruined the film " but I can't help thinking everyone is missing the point and are tearing away at the ending without giving too much scrutiny to the rest of the film which doesn't hold up without that ending

    The problem I had is that it's the lead up to the ending that is the problem . A man is shot dead while an American is visiting London and yet everyone the American meets in London knew Kendal Brown in some capacity including the love interest of the American Frank Pryor . London of course is a city of several million people and yet everyone knew Kendal Brown ? Throughout the film I kept chuckling " Yeah right " then when the shock twist ending happened it did make a sense of sort within the film's own reality . It might be a cop out but how many films have you seen where everything relies on coincidence and no shock plot twist happens ? It's a bonkers ending that might cheat its audience but at least it makes sense of sorts
  • In a parody of "The Famous Writers' School" a teacher recommends that no matter what corner you have painted yourself into, literarily, you can always end it with "then I got run over by a truck." In this film the audience is run over by a truck. It takes a nicely orchestrated set of events and cheapens them badly. This is the tale of a man who finds himself in the middle of some intrigue and blackmail. There are nice plot twists all along the way, especially involving the female protagonist who has gotten herself in some big time trouble. Lloyd Bridges is sort of along for the ride. We keep waiting for him to be more than an observer, but he never rises above that. Still I was involved until the moronic ending.
  • crossbow010627 June 2009
    This is a kind of "B" picture but it has a good cast and the story is intriguing enough. It stars Lloyd Bridges and Moira Lister, two good actors. An assassination happens as Frank Prior (Bridges) gets off a plane in London, where he is to see Pauline French (Lister) for the first time in six years, since the war. The person who was assassinated, Kendall Brown, is known to Pauline French and Scotland Yard is on the case. Frank tries to help French in trying to find out how she in involved. The Limping Man of the title is a shadowy figure, which is why I'm calling this a noir film. Its pretty good, but the ending, which I won't divulge, is strange. Its fun to watch up till then and, at 75 minutes, goes by quickly. Obviously not perfect, its good Saturday afternoon watching.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A great deal seems to happen in a relatively short time in this entertaining murder mystery and it's this pace that plays such a significant part in making "The Limping Man" so enjoyable to watch. Apart from murder, its story also involves blackmail, smuggling and a serious case of mistaken identity, as well as a series of surprising plot developments that all add to the intrigue that deepens consistently as the murder investigation progresses.

    American ex-serviceman Frank Prior (Lloyd Bridges) returns to London to meet up with the girlfriend that he left behind six years earlier. As he and the other passengers disembark from their plane and walk towards the airport terminal, he turns and asks the man behind him for a light, but when his fellow passenger obliges, he's immediately shot dead by a bullet from a sniper's rifle. Frank's disappointed when his girlfriend Pauline French (Moira Lister) isn't at the airport to meet him and then, because of the circumstances of the murder, has to be interviewed by a couple of Scotland Yard detectives. During his conversation with Inspector Braddock (Alan Wheatley) and Detective Cameron (Leslie Phillips), Frank learns that the dead man's papers indicated that he was Kendall Brown.

    When Frank eventually meets up with Pauline, she's thrilled to see him and explains why she wasn't at the airport when he arrived. He sees from her many trophies that she's an accomplished marks-woman and also learns that she likes fast cars and boats. A photograph that the police found on Kendall Brown's body leads them to his apartment and a lady in the picture turns out to be Pauline. Another photograph that they find in Brown's apartment leads them to his ex-wife, Helene Castle (Helene Cordet) who works as a singing assistant in a magic show. It transpires that Brown was a criminal and a womaniser and that Pauline had been one of his conquests.

    Pauline becomes the main murder suspect but Frank discovers that she's also got other troubles because she'd previously been involved in Brown's smuggling activities and is also being blackmailed because of some incriminating letters that she'd written. Clearly, when he decided that he wanted to reunite with his wartime sweetheart, Frank could never have imagined that it would lead him into such a web of intrigue.

    There's a lot to enjoy in "The Limping Man" as it's very competently directed by blacklisted director Cy Enfield (who wasn't able to be credited for his work), the acting performances are consistently good and there are interesting cameo appearances by a very young-looking Lionel Blair and the well-known illusionist, Robert Harbin. It's just a shame that it all ends with a conclusion that's so sudden, incongruous and utterly disappointing. If it hadn't been for this, the movie would definitely have merited a higher rating.
  • There is a strict rule with IMDb reviews not to reveal the ending, so that shall remain undescribed. Up until that point, this is a very solid post-War British noir. American actor Lloyd Bridges plays a former American army captain who returns to England six years after the end of the War to renew a romance with his old flame, played by Moira Lister. She has become involved with a petty criminal and has been blackmailed by him when she tried to break off with him a year earlier. There are some good atmospheric shots down along the Thames in the East End of London at now-vanished riverside locations; it is ironical that much of what survived the German bombing has been destroyed in the past twenty years by developers, and the only way to see it now is in old movies like this one. Rachel Roberts, in her second film, plays a barmaid at the Spread Eagle pub in the East End. She was later to marry Rex Harrison, and she became a favourite British film actress in the 1960s, her most famous role being in 'This Sporting Life' (1963). She committed suicide in 1980 at the age of only 53. The 'limping man' of the title is a mysterious limping sniper who assassinates Lister's man friend on the runway at London airport, just as Bridges turns and asks him for a light for his cigarette. The police eventually discover the coincidence of Bridges being present at the murder of the man who had been involved with Lister, whom Bridges then visits, so that it all looks like a complicated conspiracy. But Bridges, like all square-jawed American heroes, is innocent, of course. However, what is Moira Lister's role in all of this? And why does she act so strange? What is really going on? It is a really good yarn, but then, as I have already pointed out and as other reviewers have also loudly complained, there is an absurd ending which infuriates the viewer, which is why so many reviewers have been highly upset. If you can brace yourself for that disappointment, the film is well worth watching.
  • The Limping Man is one of a large number of competent British mysteries made in the '50's and featuring American actors in leading roles. In this one, it's Lloyd Bridges who stars. He is always credible and enjoyable to watch, but, in this feature, has too little to do. He is cast as an American who returns to London many years after the war to see his old girlfriend. Once there, a man standing next to him on the tarmac is gunned down by a sniper. He soon learns that there is a connection between the victim and his girlfriend. A web of intrigue unevenly unfolds. While the film does not fall into any predictable pattern of clichés, neither does it fit neatly together into the satisfying structure one expects of a good taut British mystery. Moira Lister lacks the appeal necessary to make the part of the girlfriend interesting, and she just doesn't click with Bridges. Helene Cordet as a decorative French entertainer also leaves one cold. (More interesting, though, in a bit part, is a young Jean Marsh.) All in all, it's middling double-feature fare, but well worth seeing if you like the genre.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    THE LIMPING MAN is a dull vehicle for Hollywood exile Lloyd Bridges, shot in Britain on a low budget. The film certainly has an arresting opening with characters disembarking from a plane at which point one of the passengers is taken out by a lurking sniper. The rest of the film charts a police investigation into the murder while at the same time the film's protagonist, Bridges, learns that his old flame is mixed up in a sinister conspiracy plot.

    This film is a perfect example of wasted potential. The opening makes for arresting viewing but after about 20 minutes the pace falls flat and the story just limps along lifelessly with little in the way of energy to see it through. It doesn't help that the cast feels lacklustre, with Bridges on autopilot and Moira Lister failing to show the audience why Bridges would bother making the effort of a Transatlantic crossing for her. Only Leslie Phillips is fun in a typical womaniser role. Watch out for a youthful Lionel Blair as a dancer and Jean Marsh in a debut cameo. THE LIMPING MAN also has one of the worst twist endings in all of cinema, yes, no joke, it really is a case of "it was all a dream" and just as awful as that sounds.
  • I saw this movie at the Internet Archive and was pleased with the quality of the copy. I have always liked Lloyd Bridges and remember his television show, Sea Hunt, quite fondly. I sure am glad I first watched the movie and then read the reviews here. I might have given the movie a skip had I read the reviews first and that would have been a shame. The movie has a lot going for it – it has a solid cast, is fast paced with good location shots and atmosphere, has the odd flash of humor (great scene where a couple of kids are caught watching TV. when they should be asleep as noted by another reviewer) and is suspenseful. Since I was not familiar – or did not recognize – a few of the actors mentioned by others, I'll probably give this movie a second watching just to see them. Although I'm glad I saw this movie and may well see it again, the ending was a huge let down. What were the producers of this movie thinking? Worse ending ever.
  • Absorbing little co-feature that holds the interest. It would be worth the price of admission if not for the I-want-my-money-back ending. Nice acting jobs all around, Miss Lister in particular. Good workmanlike performance by the dependable Lloyd Bridges. The picture didn't drag and moved along at a nice clip. In truth, I didn't mind the ending as I felt the plot was starting to dig a hole for itself which made the ending rather timely. Had never seen this picture in TV listings - I had a DVD copy which was quite good. Makes you wonder how many other underrated films never made it to a format of any kind, and are now gone forever.
  • Could a film start with a more captivating intrigue? As Lloyd Bridges lands in London after six years divorce from his beloved, he turns to a fellow passenger on the airfield for a cigarette, while a car stops some hundred yards off, a man on crutches gets out of it, loads a rifle and shoots the man as he stands with Lloyd Bridges. What a shocking welcome!

    And that's only the beginning. The intrigue rolls on and unfolds in constantly more intriguing complications, while the centre of the stage gradually unfolds as being a night club, of course, with an actress of both qualifications as an assistant to a magician (who knifes her in boxes) and an accomplished singer, and she is French. There is another actress too, that's Lloyd Bridges' sweetheart, but although she still loves him after six years, she is hopelessly tangled up in complications with, as it turns out, the man that was murdered and his murderer.

    That's only the beginning. It will take some trouble to entangle all this mess, which constantly gets more tangled. But the film actually succeeds in this, and everyone gets away with everything, but that's a different story...

    This would have been an ideal subject for Hitchcock, who would have gloried in magnifying the intrigues.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I'm surprised that so many people seem to be disappointed with the ending of this film. The story is typical of a 1950s British crime film with good performances by all - but this ending makes it a bit different. It has the inevitable American lead, in this case the excellent Lloyd Bridges, to make it attractive to the US. The story is seen through to the expected ending but then we find that the story was not perhaps located where we thought it was. It does not mean that the story, still a fictional one of course, becomes any less entertaining because of it. As I get older I realise that an "unconscious" mind, so to speak, is capable of great detail and can set many random and complex problems for which it then tries to find solutions, it must then try to resolve at least some of them before it returns to full consciousness. The clues are there, remember the limping man being followed to the riverside, where did he go? Yes, the shock of the ending is sudden, but when you wake up it's usually like that, all may be forgotten in a flash. Did the writer of the original story or the director think of it like that, or was it just an attempt to be different, a joke, just for the sake of it? I don't know but I liked it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Watch the very beginning carefully. Particularly the bit about the man behind borrowing the in-flight magazine it is a very important part of the script that most reviewers seem to have missed. The end will then make sense. The atmosphere of the film is excellent, particularly if you lived in London during the 1950s. PS: remember that when you dream anything can happen.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ***SPOILERS*** Nobody knew at the time when the film "The Limping Man" came limping into the theaters in late 1953 what an impact it would have on it's audiences who were still around, if they didn't walk out earlier, for the films last few shocking and totally unexpected moments. It started out as your usual crime assassination flick with returning US WWII veteran Frank Prior, Llyod Bridges, getting off a plane from NY in London to rekindle an affair he had with his British girlfriend Pauline French, Moria Listen, six years ago. That soon lead to one of the plane passengers getting gunned down by an unseen sniper as Frank was about to give him a light! From then on Frank was hounded by Scotland Yard's Insp. Braddock, Alan Wheatley, and his assistant the skirt chasing Det. Cameron, Leslie Phillips, for the entire length of the movie. As for Pauline she seemed to have had some romantic relationship with the murdered man revealed to be Kendal Brown, Bruce Beebe, who was involved in smuggling contraband into the country.

    It soon turns out that whoever murdered Kendal Brown had a noticeable limp, from the footprints found at the scene, and it was that limp or limper whom both the police Scotland Yard as well as Frank were out looking for to find Browns killer. As for Pauline she knew the truth all along about Brown and his illegal activities and kept her mouth shut so she won't be implicated in them. There's also the late Kendal Brown's estranged wife showgirl and magician aid Helene Castle, Helene Cordet, who identified his body at the London City morgue who didn't seem to show any emotion at all in knowing that he's gone and now not paying her rent or clothing bills!

    ***SPOILERS*** The movie leads up to a number of unexpected surprises in that we as well as Frank & Palline find out that Brown wasn't killed at all but faked his death by using some unknowing stooge, in not realizing what's to happen to him,to replace him and end up getting murdered! As for the now live Brown he want's his former lover Pauline to pay him off, with 2,000 pounds sterling, and slip him out of the country to France in her motorboat. That or else he'll release a number of revealing and incriminating letters that she sent him not just about her romance but criminal activities she had with him. The film ends with such a confusing climax that you have to re-watch it to get the massage that it's trying to tell you. That's if you ever saw the movie "The Wizard Oz" you'll quickly realize what it is!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Whoever is responsible for the story that told by this film simply didn't know of a reasonable way to pull it together, and so just let it fall apart.

    After an unexplained separation of six years, an American flies to the UK to meet the woman whom he loves, an actress of some fame. As he and the other passengers walk from the plane to a terminal building, a man whom he stops by chance is felled by a sniper's bullet. The sniper walked with the assistance of a crutch. It is discovered that the woman whom the American has come to see had been both sexually involved and engaged in smuggling with the man identified as the victim of the sniper; apparently she was motivated to do these things because of her longing for the American. Further, her lover had subsequently blackmailed her, and now his presumptive widow, a singer, was blackmailing her. On the way, we discover that someone with an administrative rôle at the singer's theater uses a crutch. When the actress attempts to pay the singer, the actress and the audience learn that the presumptive dead man is still alive, and being assisted by his wife. The fellow with the crutch makes an appearance and is greatly injured by the blackmailer. The police, who have been going about the business of trying to solve the murder and trying to run the actress to ground show-up. A search for the blackmailer is begun; he has for no very good reason disguised himself as the fellow with the crutch, and when the police begin looking for a man with a crutch, it does not occur to him to chuck the thing aside; instead, he retreats to a balcony. When he is spotted, the America dashes after him, instead of allowing the surrounding police to do their job. A struggle ensues, with the American finding himself to be pushed off the balcony.

    Were the film to break at this point, the audience would be left with many questions. Answering even just some of them in a satisfactory manner would be quite a challenge.

    Well, the American awakes, because it was all a dream. That was the best answer that the writers had for us. (Formally, the ending has the disembarked American and the actress happily running each towards the other, perhaps to assure us that he hasn't dreamt exactly the future he were about to enter.) If, up to that point of awakening, the story had been, in some interesting way, dream-like, then that ending might be sensible or at least forgivable. But the story had been a haphazard construction of implausibilities, and the ending was simply a cheat.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    People had told me about the ending of "The Limping Man" - my response was how bad could it be - the answer - extremely bad!!!! It would have been so much easier to end the film on a more conventional note - but no, someone with a vivid imagination thought - I will make this really memorable - it was memorable but for all the wrong reasons!!!

    Frank Prior (Lloyd Bridges) is flying back to England to see whether the girl he met during the war still loves him as much as he does her. Crossing the tarmac, one of the passengers is killed by an unknown sniper, just after Prior asks him for a light. After being cleared to go by the police, Frank, tries to contact his friend, Pauline, whose photo just happens to be in the dead man's (Kendall Brown) pocket. When he catches up with Pauline (Moira Lister) she is quite nervous. The police also want to talk to Helen Castle (Helene Cordet), who has a novelty magic act "Hey Presto". She was Kendall's wife but they have been separated for 3 years - or so she says!!!

    Meanwhile Frank and Pauline spend a leisurely day on the river but when the boat runs out of petrol the man who comes to their assistance seems to know her, as does a stranger from the pub. (Rachel Roberts has a few moments as a chatty barmaid). Then Frank sees the limping man!!!! He finds he is deep in a plot that involves smuggling and incriminating love letters. There is a very funny scene where Frank and Pauline climb into a room (to evade the police) where two children are watching TV - the children get upset because they think the strangers will tell their parents about their nocturnal TV viewing. When they go downstairs the parents are having a party and just assume Frank and Pauline guests!!

    This was typical of the style of thrillers that John Mills had made ("The Long Memory" etc). I agree Moira Lister was very lack lustre and seemed quite unexciting in her role, certainly not interesting enough to be the dare devil she portrayed. More interesting was Jean Marsh, who became famous playing Rose in the prestigious TV series "Upstairs, Downstairs" - she made her debut in this film playing the land lady's teenage daughter. Lloyd Bridges had several leading roles before his phenomenally successful role as Mike Nelson in the TV series "Sea Hunt".
  • Neither this nor Wikipedia mention that there was a 1937 film called "The Limping Man". It was the first shown in Lyme Regis's Regent cinema, opened in that year, and the story is that the mayor of the town, who did the opening, Will Emmett, happened to have a limp. The film was shown again in this historic Art Deco cinema (Lyme is said to be the smallest town in England, or possibly Britain, to have a cinema) this Oct. 12, the 70th anniversary - free, with lavish refreshments and firework display provided by the management - a wonderful occasion. That was why I looked for "The Limping Man" in Wikipedia and to my surprise found only this later film. Can anyone give further information about the 1937 film? It was a thriller with a plot too involved for me to follow in all details! Guy Ottewell
  • Warning: Spoilers
    An American construction engineer travels to England in order to meet up with the delightful sweetheart he met during the war. He gradually discovers that the said sweetheart, unlike faithful Penelope, did not spend the intervening years fasting, crying and praying...

    For about 98% percent of its running time, "The Limping Man" is a good, decent little thriller, well worth of seven stars or more. The performances are good and there is a nicely atmospheric evocation of London shortly after World War II, complete with wharves, pubs and clubs. (If you are familiar with London : am I right in thinking that at least part of the scenery has been comprehensively destroyed in order to make way for prestigious lofts ?) You also get a pair of pretty mellow Scotland Yard detectives, one of whom happens to bear a remarkable resemblance to French actor Michel Serrault. The movie, however, ruins itself by providing an enormously stupid ending.

    I won't describe the ending, because imdb tends to frown upon these things. Let's just say that, narratively, it belongs to an exquisitely lazy, facile and inept subvariety - we're well into Louis the XV-th territory here. I, for one, sat staring at the empty screen for a considerable amount of time, while going "Whut ? Whut ? Whut !"

    It's a fair cop-out, guv'nor.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Some play with the mystery thriller form—they add, accordingly, some lyricism, or stylization, or gritty toughness.

    THE LIMPING MAN seems in fact a rather average mystery movie, without additives (such as the poetry of some melodramas or the stylization or the grittiness); and it's not the most exciting or suspenseful and eventful thriller. I have found this flick below its excellent reputation, yet clean. Understood as a clean, straightforward 'divertissement, it's good.

    Lloyd Bridges plays the leading character, perhaps he's not necessarily one of my favorite actors, Moira Lister is his girlfriend, and a beautiful one, though some might find her face a little too masculine.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This turkey is reasonably well roasted, and even features some side dishes that are interesting to learn more about. The ending of The Limping Man, however, is so arbitrary and dishonest it makes clear how little regard for the audience, or for the integrity of their own movie, the producers must have had.

    World War II vet Frank Prior (Lloyd Bridges) returns to London from America after six years to look up an old flame, Pauline French (Moira Lister), now a successful actress. As he and the other passengers deplane and walk across to the terminal, Frank pauses for a moment and asks the man beside him for a light. There's a gunshot and the man crumples to the ground, shot by a marksman with a high-powered rifle, an assassin with a limp. The dead man was named Kendall Brown. With Inspector Braddock (Alan Wheatley) and Detective Cameron (Leslie Phillips) on the case, it's clear that Prior is as mystified as everyone else. After Prior leaves the police to find Pauline, Wheatley and Cameron visit Brown's lodgings...and find a photo of a good-looking young woman. Yes, the photo is of Pauline French. It's not long before Frank Prior is up to his neck in murderous intrigue. The mix includes blackmail, smuggling, magic acts, gritty Thames-side docks, backstage theater doings, a pouting French singer and, Frank discovers, some indiscretions in Pauline's past. The plot, under Cy Endfield's direction, keeps moving briskly ahead. The photography is nifty, with lots of nighttime eeriness, shadowy theater cellars and fear-filled eyes highlighted in the gloom.

    But the movie reeks of class-conscious accents and acting. Whole generations of British actors, if they were to have a hope of succeeding as lead players, had to master that plummy, nasal, upper-class diction that was supposed to be the hallmark of an English gentleman or lady. When sound came to the movies, that social stratification based on how one spoke was enforced with a vengeance. Things began to change for lead players only when Michael Caine hit the big-time in Britain and kept his Cockney accent. So here's Leslie Phillips, who grew to be a fine farceur, slim, young and in a supporting role as Cameron. He was raised in poverty with a Cockney accent. His mother was determined that he'd have a chance at a better life so she saw that he had elocution lessons. Phillips wound up with one of the ripest upper-class accents you can imagine, and in a long career he has used it to great, leering effect. His Cameron is very keen on the female figure, a characteristic Phillips, now in his eighties and still acting, has in real life. Phillips is a character and great fun to watch. One of his best roles is as Lord Flamborough in 1994's Love on a Branch Line. It's one of those British television productions that you'll either be delighted by or puzzled with. Moira Lister's Pauline French (Lister was born and raised in South Africa) sounds like the carefully educated daughter of the English landed aristocracy, the kind of woman who schedules her love life with her husband as meticulously as she schedules her social engagements with her equals, and with considerably less frequency. Lister was a successful actress on the stage as well as in the movies. She sounds a little like Joan Greenwood. She gives such an overly bred, mannered performance it seems unlikely she'd ever be attracted to an American ex-GI like Lloyd Bridge's Frank Prior. However, one of the pleasures of the movie is that Frank flies into London on a Lockheed Constellation. We see several shots of this most graceful of airplanes flying and on the ground.

    The ending of The Limping Man is a complete cheat. While some of us might enjoy at least some of this movie's 76 minutes, and I'm one of them, its conclusion left me feeling that I'd just been made a fool of.

    Cy Endfield, who directed the movie, did so under the name of Charles De la Tour, a man he paid to front for him. Endfield was blackballed in Hollywood during the witch-hunts. He could no longer get directing jobs so he left for Britain with his family. The only way his early British movies could be released in America was by hiding his name. He stayed in Britain and went on to direct using his real name Zulu, Mysterious Island, Sands of the Kalahari and others.
  • Convoluted murder mystery. So who shot Kendall Brown from a distance as he was exiting a London airport. It wasn't Frank Prior (Bridges) who gets involved through happenstance, which wouldn't have happened if girlfriend Pauline (Lister) had met him at the airport as she was supposed to. Then there's singer Helene (Cordet) who's also implicated, that is, when she's not performing in a magic act. Anyhow, Scotland Yard's on the case, so the limping culprit better watch out. At least that's the way things appear.

    Bridges fans like myself may be disappointed since his role is clearly secondary to Lister's and somewhat incidental to the plot. It may be that director Endfield did him an employment favor since both were targets of the Hollywood blacklist. After all, they had worked together brilliantly on the gripping Sound Of Fury (1950). There're a number of nice touches. I especially chuckled over the randy young police inspector (Phillips) when he trades meaningful looks with the busty landlady's daughter (Marsh). It's amusingly done. Also, the magician's act is novel accompaniment to Helene's singing. Too bad, however, we don't get a better look at the effects that pass by unhighlighted.

    I'm guessing the bummer ending was because the plot's complexity made tying up all the loose ends darn difficult. Anyway, it's a pretty good time passer, ending or no, with a number of entertaining touches.
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