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  • This film is one which I saw on TV many many years ago on Yorkshire and eventually obtained an American copy a few years back. Directed by Joseph Losey this film has great atmosphere and some great stars too. Unusual for the time there are good location shots and realistic studio backgrounds too. My copy "Finger of Guilt" is the edited version which was distributed by RKO but in spite of this I love the twists and turns of the plot and if you get the chance watch it vote on it too. This film is a high-spot in the history of Merton Park and shows what can be done on a modest budget with actors who know their stuff. Richard Basehart is brilliant as he struggles to solve the question "was it true" and Roger Livesey is believable as the studio boss. Look out to for a host of Merton Park regulars such as Andre Mikhelson who plays a designer in this film.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    OK, perhaps I rated this a little too high, but anything featuring the very good Richard Basehart is fine in my book. Having seen this a while ago, I recently watched the beginning and the ending once again.

    The beginning draws you in to a story which, while not especially original, does provide enough mystery and twists and turns to be involving. The actors are all highly professional, and the directing is serviceable. Earlier reviews have suggested that Losey (director) had the usual axe to grind as a blacklisted Hollywood veteran. Well, perhaps, but if that was the case, he didn't succeed.

    Instead what we have is a psychological drama (a la film noir) in which our protagonist is assailed by an unkind fate (personified by an unexpectedly satisfying Mary Murphy). Things go badly as the film moves toward the predictable climax, when all is revealed. Here, Losey pulls out all of his particular directorial stops and gives us a good cinematic treat as Basehart tangles with the real (albeit somewhat wimpy) villain of the piece in a shadow play bravura conflict. Decent film, well worth your time. 4 out of 5.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This movie, a cynical look at betrayal in the film industry, was directed by someone who had first hand knowledge - Joseph Losey. With a great blend of British actors (Roger Livesey, Mervyn Johns and Faith Brook, who I had just seen a few days before in a superb British "Thriller" episode "In the Steps of a Dead Man") and a couple of American ex-pats - Richard Basehart and Constance Cummings, it is a nicely paced "who done it" set behind the scenes at a British film studio (Shepparton Studios).

    Film producer, Reggie Wilson (Richard Basehart) is worried he may have a dual personality. Fleeing Hollywood, he finds himself in England and married to the bosses' daughter (Faith Brook) after which he quickly rises through the studio ranks. Then the letters appear.... from a love sick fan (he thinks) who wants to know why he has thrown her over. Meanwhile, his father-in-law "Big Ben" is worried about the money being poured into the studio's first big budget movie and is demanding cuts!! On top of which, imported leading lady Kay Wallace (Constance Cummings) realises she is not right for the role and is being a prima donna.

    Mary Murphy bought a quiet intensity to her acting but even though she was in films for two decades, the only time she really stood out was as the shy girl who gave hope to Marlon Brando in "The Wild One". Here she had a more conventional role as Evelyn Stewart, the duplicitous letter writer. She handled the part well but I will always remember her beauty - why wasn't she better known!!! Being a Joseph Losey ("The Prowler", "The Servant") picture, you couldn't fault it and when Reggie starts to put two and two together to add up to just who Evelyn Stewart really was, the pace really picks up.

    Constance Cummings was an under rated American actress ("The Criminal Code") who went to England in the mid thirties as so many did whose careers were stalling, but unlike many, made good and decided to stay.

    Highly Recommended.
  • This is a stylish and engrossing noir. The music seems a bit dated but the use of background sound is inventive and seems to presage Godard's. Is this Joseph Losey's best? No. "Time Without Pity," a year later, is far more powerful and less predictable. Not at all predictable, actually, and this one is. The resolution is not a surprise, exactly, but it is powerfully presented and moving.

    Mary Murphy played a good bitch. I haven't seen her in many movies but it seems that she often was cast in this was. Losey uses the clattering of her high heels effectively. Actually, she is not a thoroughly bad character. She feels remorse.

    Constance Cummins is excellent as the star imported for the main character's big project. Her helping him out of his predicament is touching. And Richard Basehart: One of the best American actors, he is superb here. He did not win the conventional awards but will long be remembered, if only for his beautiful playing in "La Strada" (and for his mousy pharmacist in what I consider the perfect noir: "Tension.")
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ****SPOILERS****British film executive Reggie Wilson, Richard Basehart, is about to commit himself into the "Funny Farm" because of all these letters he's been getting postage marked New Castle from this woman Evelyn Stewart, Mary Murphy, claiming that he had a hot and heavy affair with her back in New York some five years ago. Not remembering a thing about this supposed affair Reggie feeling he's being blackmailed goes to New Castle to confront Evelyn and finally get to the bottom of all this mental anguish he's being put through. Going to New Castle with his wife-a really bad idea-Lesley,Faith Brooke, it become apparent to everyone his wife the police as well as himself that there's some truth to Evelyn's accusations about his affair with her even though Reggie can't remember a thing about it!

    With the head of the studio as well as his father-in-law Ben Case, not Ben Casey of the 1960's TV series,played by Roger Livesey giving Reggie a forced leave of absence he take a trip to the studio to both chill out and get his act together! It's then that everything comes together for him when he spots Evelyn showing up there for a job as if it's some kind of pay off by Case in her driving him nutty! What turns out is that Evelyn got her wires crossed in thinking that Case was behind all this manipulating poor Reggie's head! And that's when Reggie finally found who's been pulling the strings to get him kicked out of his job and end up in the loony bin!

    ****SPOILERS**** Wild final with Reggie finding out and exposing, with a hidden microphone, the person behind his troubles with his father-in-law and boss Ben Case listening in. Evelyn soon realizing that she somehow has been set up to be the pasty in all this takes a powder only to be caught as she tries to make a quick getaway form the studio grounds. As for the person who set Reggie up he tries to gun him down only to find out that the sub-machine, which he should have known, that he tried to blast him with was only a harmless movie prop!
  • a rainy day in the upper Midwest,and waiting to pick up my grandson from school. had me turning on TCM during it's summer under the stars to see who was being featured today. Constance Cummings I was unfamiliar with, however in the previous movie along with Cummings Ralph Bellamy and Irene Dunne stared. I began watching " finger of guilt. having grown up watching 20,000 leagues under the sea with Richard basehart? ( I think that was the name of the series) I began to watch this film. I love location movies, in particular London in the mid 50's. what a terrific movie. basehart was outstanding and Mary Murphy was absolutely stunning. her beauty and the role she played was outstanding. the supporting actors were great. all recognizable , and such pro's. that made a low budget film so wonderful. really a great surprise for a rainy day. wonderful movie !
  • "Finger of Guilt" was directed by Joseph Losey and written by Howard Koch, under a pseudonym' both he and Losey were called to testify during the Red Scare and refused. Both men were certainly capable of interesting work; somehow this film comes off as not that special. The problem may be that it was originally 95 minutes and the version shown is 84.That can make a huge difference.

    Richard Basehart is a film executive who left Hollywood after a scandal. Now he is in England, married to the boss' daughter (Lesley Wilson) with an excellent job at a studio, run by his father-in-law (Roger Livesey).

    Reggie (Richard Basehart) has been receiving letters from someone he first believes is a fan, but the letters have become more aggressive, stating that they had an affair, and that she wants to continue it. Reggie is positive he doesn't know the woman, let alone had an affair with her.

    He shows them to his boss Ben (Livesey). Then his wife receives a letter from this person, and Reggie decides to find her and confront her. His wife insists on accompanying him. The posts come from Newcastle, and they find the address, a rooming house.

    The woman (Mary Murphy) turns out to be an actress and she knows way too much. She knows what he drinks and how he drinks it, where he's traveled -- Reggie begins to think he has a double personality. Meanwhile everyone seems to believe her, including his wife.

    I wouldn't call this a film noir; it is an interesting movie that keeps you guessing but I for one was disappointed in the denouement.

    Constance Cummings plays an actress, an old lover of Reggie's, who is supposed to star in his film, which is in jeopardy. She is excellent, as is Basehart.

    I won't say this is a bad film at all, it just doesn't have Losey's artistic touches. Having seen films he made with Dirk Bogarde, this just seemed like an ordinary film for him. But again, I haven't seen the uncut version.

    Worth checking out.
  • SnoopyStyle5 November 2020
    Reggie Wilson (Richard Basehart) is worn out and recounts his story to his doctor. His Hollywood career ended after an affair with his boss's wife. He decided to pick up the pieces and move back to England. He married Lesley, daughter of a film producer and he's back in the game. It is all under threat when he starts receiving blackmail letters from a woman whom Reggie claims not to know.

    I really like the premise. I don't like the progression of the last act. I don't get the pub meeting. I don't get their conversation. I don't get him for that section. There are obvious possible answers to the mystery woman. I kept waiting for him to get there. I don't like him discovering her with him on that set and redoing the dialogue. I'm not impressed with the reveal. I would redo the whole third act.
  • XhcnoirX20 September 2016
    Richard Basehart has moved on from his womanizing days in the US to steadier waters in the UK with wife Faith Brooke and now works as a successful producer for his wife's father Roger Livesey. During the production of his latest project, which stars one of his former flames Constance Cummings, he receives several letters from a person he doesn't know, claiming they had an affair. Initially thinking it's an attempt at blackmail, he shrugs it off. But when his wife also receives a letter, they decide enough is enough, and they visit the woman, Mary Murphy. When she persists in her story, even in front of the police, Basehart starts to have doubts. Could he really have forgotten?! Soon things start to fall apart for him, as Murphy's story, fabricated or not, starts to threaten his marriage as well as his career.

    Released in the UK as 'The Intimate Stranger' and 'Finger Of Guilt' in the US, this movie starts off as a marital drama (told in flashback by Basehart), and slowly moves into thriller territories before culminating in a pretty exciting final 20 minutes inside a studio set. Written and directed by 2 men blacklisted by Hollywood, Joseph Losey ('The Prowler') and Howard Koch ('Casablanca'), the story can be easily seen as a metaphor for what they endured. But the movie never becomes self-righteous or preachy. Most of the movie is filmed in a matter-of-fact type of way, focusing squarely on Basehart ('He Walked By Night'), leaving the viewer guessing about Murphy ('The Desperate Hours') and the truth. Basehart is solid as a man who's confronted with a past he's forgotten about, or has he? Murphy however is great, she manages to come off as both lying and telling the truth at the same time, shrugging of his questions with ease, which in turn confuses him even more. The rest of the cast are also good, thankfully, as the movie is dialogue-heavy and has a pretty slow pace, especially in the first half.

    Visually the movie combines 2 opposites. The opening scene as well as the climax are shot imaginatively, appealing to noir heads. The rest of the movie however is shot in a mostly shadow-less, almost TV-like, manner. Having said that, DoP Gerald Gibbs ('No Orchids For Miss Blandish') does a nice job. The climax inside a studio set is beautifully shot, with some creative shots and angles, including a fist fight that moves in and out of a light illuminating a projection screen used for dailies, projecting a shadow fistfight. It stands in stark contrast with the rest of the movie but it also makes the climax more effective. All in all, it's a good drama/thriller that skirts into noir territories. 7/10
  • This is a very tricky thriller and marvellously contrived, almost like a psychological thriller of the film studios: a worried film director (Richard Baseheart) sees a doctor about an inextricable problem he has: a girl is persecuting him by writing intimate love letters, as if she had known him all her life, but he has no idea who she is and has never seen her. He is happily married to the lovely daughter (Faith Brook) of his boss (Roger Livesey), and as the postal address is Newcastle, he goes up there to investigate the inveterate girl and brings his wife (reluctatly) with him. There are some scenes in Newcastle. Poor Richard Baseheart can't find any other explanation to the mystery than that he must be two different persons in the same body, neither knowing what the other one is doing. He can't explain to himself in any other way the fact that he can't remember anything about a girl who claims they are lovers, although she acts convincingly enough and even has his photograph since of old. Find yourself out of that labyrinth. Still, everything is logically explained in the end, and there is a marvellous fight in the studio and bitter settlements, but at least no one gets hurt. Richard Baseheart makes as marvellous and interesting performance as ever, Roger Livesey is the safe old man providing wisdom and security, and Constance Cummings plays an important supporting part as the perfect film star. There are other important characters also, and one of them really knows how to act. In brief, this is one of the best films about film studio work with human relationship complications threatening to ruin a good picture..
  • Erotomania is the psychological term used to describe someone who is delusional and has convinced themselves that another person loves them...a person who they possibly never even met. It often happens with crazed fans in love with a famous person but the fixation could occur on a normal, everyday person as well. Erotomaniacs are not obviously insane, but this delusion is difficult, and sometimes impossible, to rid the person of despite therapy. I mention this because through much of "Finger of Guilt" you aren't sure whether this has occurred to Reggie Wilson (Richard Basehart) or whether he's a total cad and simply is lying to hide an affair.

    When the film begins, Reggie has moved to the UK following some sort of scandal he was involved in with some married woman. Now he's married to the boss of a British studio and has a very important job producing movies. However, he begins receiving letters from a lady in Newcastle asking him why he is ignoring her and demanding he contact her. But he insists he has no idea who the woman is and even tells his father-in-law about this situation. And then, the women begins calling the studio...demanding to talk with him. By this point, Reggie's wife has heard about all this and it's obvious that she's beginning to suspect her hubby is a lying troll. So, Reg takes the wife up to Newcastle to confront the lady...and the lady INSISTS she and Reggie have been lovers, though she can provide no concrete proof. Who are you to believe? So is this any good? And is it really a case of erotomania? See the film and learn for yourself.

    The fact that Richard Basehart is in a British film isn't too surprising. Basehart was a very minor star in the States and made movies in Europe (including a film for Fellini) for several years. This is because European studios thought that by putting an American or two in the leads, it would increase the marketability of the films internationally.

    All in all, a pretty good film. I didn't love the ending...and part of it is because it wasn't 100% convincing. Still, an interesting and unusual story.

    By the way, this film does make you wonder how many people and marriages have been destroyed by erotomaniacs. While this is relatively common with celebrities and accepted as a normal part of fame, what about common folk who suddenly have women or men insisting they love them? For an amazingly good film about this, try to see the French film "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not"'s among the very best French movies of the last several decades!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I don't know why, but somehow Richard Basehart always reminded me just a little of Richard Burton...although I liked Basehart a bit more. Unfortunately, Basehart never made it to the A list, even though I thought he was a good and fairly interesting actor. Maybe the problem was scripts that left a bit to be this one.

    Here, his character as a film director seems...well, a tad bit stereotypical, at least on the surface. Really, constantly carrying around a cane for no reason just seems a little goofy.

    But, once you get back the superficial aspects of this film, it gets pretty good. What has to happen to get to that point is getting past the mysterious letters that seem to be hinting at blackmail, to actually meeting the mysterious girl...which finally does happen. Then things get quite good, quite interesting as the mystery deepens.

    If you look carefully, you'll see this film was on a pretty cheap budget (for example, painted books on a bookshelf). The other problem I have with this film is that it has that sort of tawdry look to it that was not uncommon in lower budget 1950s film...that lacked the class of film noir.

    The ending is pretty good, although hardly unique.

    Let's put it this way -- you could do worse. It's worth a watch, but I doubt you'll buy it for your DVD shelf.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It's bad enough when your past catches up to you, but it's even worse when somebody else's idea of what your past should be catches up to you.

    Richard Basehart is a movie maker. A scandal back in the states has driven him to begin a new career in England. That's a plot that should have resonated with the director, Joseph Losey. Basehart's current project is expensive and dicey and the studio is on edge about overruns and expensive costumes.

    Then Basehart, a happily married man, begins to get loving letters reminding him of a past romance from a woman named Evelyn. That would be Mary Murphy. Basehart, already tense, his reputation as a womanizer haunting his reputation, becomes an unhappily harried man and is driven to see a shrink, who is of no help.

    He tracks down Mary Murphy and she insists that her story is real, that they had a passionate affair in New York and he'd promised her a job if she came to England. Everything she says rings true. She even convinced the police. He loses his job, his wife leaves him, and he develops a monster hangnail. Either she's lying, for reasons no one can discern, or Basehart is some kind of multiple personality. I won't give away the ending.

    Basehart is a likable guy. He LOOKS like a reliable Mid-Western type, but his best roles have involved twisted characters. Mary Murphy is a beautiful woman. She was a winsome small-town girl in "The Wild Ones." But here she's not up to the demands of a bitchy, self-serving manipulator. And grooming doesn't help. They've given her a severe hair style and dressed her in "sophisticated" black outfits with some kind of girdle or foundation garment underneath that has pinched her waist into nullity and caused her rear to look cantilevered.

    Joseph Losey's direction is straightforward for the most part. What isn't strictly functional -- a fist fight shown by shadows on a wall -- isn't too original. And the violent ending seems excessive, with a pudgy and middle-aged Mervyn Johns being knocked about the room by a furious Basehart.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This has to be one of the most unrealistic movies that ever came down the pike. It may have been unintentional but the irony of setting something largely in a film studio, i.e. a place where they manufacture unreality, and then portraying that studio as a neglected corner of a run-down industrial estate is priceless. Richard Basehart as head of the studio has an office about as prepossessing as that of a minor official in Eastern Europe in the late sixties and that of his father-in-law and movie mogul Roger Livesey is superior only in the sense that it boasts superior oilcloth on the floor. The story, by Howard Koch, who - unbelievably on this showing - co-scripted Casablanca, is so clearly a metaphor for the Blacklist (both Koch and director Losey, were victims and worked here under John Does) that it becomes risible which it shouldn't do because there were many innocent victims 'accused' of things they hadn't done during the HUAC years and the denouement involving Mervyn Johns is pathetic. Losey completists will want to see it but of you're not one stay home and watch Big Brother.
  • Or is she ? Because she claims that the hero ,a married man who works as an executive in a film production company ,was her lover before ; she sends letter ,urging him to do something before ... before she takes her own life? Or does she want a hefty sum of money? Or is it pure vengeance ?

    Wilson does not remember at all ,or is he starting to lose his mind? Or is it he who pulls the strings?

    Generally ,women are subject to this kind of strange conspiracy , so as to drive them insane ; as for men ,it's rare ,hence the main originality of "the intimate stranger" aka " finger of guilt" .

    The story is rather gripping , Richard Basehart gives an ambiguous performance (he may pretend ,after all) ,and Mary Murphy recalls the woman with an angel face ,a la Jean Simmons .

    The film is rather talky ,and ,though it's not based on a play ,most of the action could be performed on stage ;only the last scenes have got something of cinema , but the final trick was borrowed ,among others, from Kazan's " a face in the crowd".

    Fine acting and a story which holds water,but listless directing.
  • An American filmmaker living in London named Reggie Wilson (Richard Basehart) has been receiving letters from a woman named Evelyn (Mary Murphy), speaking about their past together. The problem is, he knows it didn't happen. But Evelyn knows it did. Is Wilson going crazy? How will Wilson convince his wife-and even himself-that this is just an elaborate case of blackmail?

    Quite an interesting mystery here. The stories that Evelyn presents and her conviction about them sound so convincing that Wilson even sees a doctor to find out if there's something wrong with him that he'd forget something like that so completely.

    The performances were solid and I like how it played out. A good one that the uncredited Joseph Losey was probably happy with.

    I should also point out that the timing is pretty funny, since I chose this one at random to watch today when just last night, I watched an episode of Donahue on YouTube where former KISS drummer Peter Criss was on to confront a homeless impersonator who had caused him a lot of trouble...along with an actress who was taking care of the impersonator and claimed she and Criss had a relationship in the past.
  • This film is a quaint work from Losey. First, he did not choose to identify it as his work, when he was the actual director and Snowden the actual producer. Second, the original name "Finger of Guilt" was replaced by "The Intimate Stranger," when the first title would be more appropriate.

    The film does belong to Basehart (The clown of "La Strada") and Murphy (the love interest of Brando in "The Wild One") who carry the film. And, of course, the writer and screenplay writer Howard Koch, who along with Losey was blacklisted for their left-wing views. Like most works of Losey, the class differences do play a role. Evelyn is a small time starlet, Reggie is the rich film director. Reggie, like Losey, is running away from Hollywood (for different reasons). Koch brings out the intrigues within the studio. But that fact that a machine gun in a studio would have blanks is known to most viewers, but in the film a person who has worked long in the studios seem to forget that--now that is totally unrealistic!

    The end of the film has a lovely twist when Evelyn asks Reggie to light her cigarette. That one detail will convince an astute viewer the appropriateness of the title "Finger of Guilt." Reminds one of the ending of "Basic Instinct."