The Black Rider (1954)

  |  Crime, Thriller

The Black Rider (1954) Poster

When young reporter and amateur biker Jerry Marsh investigates a mysterious hooded figure on a motorbike, he discovers crooks hiding out in a ruined castle with atomic sabotage on their ... See full summary »

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30 January 2013 | Spikeopath
| The Legend Of The Black Rider Of Brockham Castle.
The Black Rider is directed by Wolf Rilla and written by A.R. Rawlinson. It stars Jimmy Hanley, Rona Anderson, Leslie Dwyer, Lionel Jeffries, Beatrice Varley and Micahel Golden. Music is by Wilfred Burns and cinematography by Geoffrey Faithful.

There's a grand line of British movies involving smugglers/gun runners that use some supernatural legend to hide their crooked activities. Think The Ghost Train and Will Hay classics like Oh! Mr Porter and Ask A Policenman, and you find it's a splinter of the horror comedy that has been well served in Blighty. The Black Rider carried on this tradition but only with a modicum of success.

Out of Nettlefold Studios, it's by definition a quintessential B movie. It clocks in at just over an hour, is low on production value but oozes the cheap and cheery ambiance that makes it impossible to dislike. Plot basically follows the concept of a small coastal town in awe of a local spook said to haunt the ruins up there on the hill. Cue sightings of said spook (a hooded monk), an investigation of Famous Five type proportions by some straight backed heroes, a snapshot of ye olde Brit village life and low and behold there's some crooks to be snuffed out for a big hooray ending! Throw in a bunch of motorcycle riders and their awesome bikes, though this is no Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and it rounds out as a brisk and amiable time waster; with Rilla showing nice fluid camera work that often belies the low budget afforded the production.

Safe as houses really, or in this case, Brockham Manor! 6/10

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