| Entertaining British 'film noir' second feature.
Like a good number of British 'B' films made during the 1950s, this one offers a lead role for an imported American actor whose career had seen better days. In this instance Alan Baxter plays Mike Selby, a writer brought to England to give an American slant on a forthcoming play. The producer's daughter (Jennifer Jayne) finds him accommodation in a country hotel but this proves to be fateful. There he sees his former girlfriend Lilaine (Barbara Shelley) who is now married to Crawford, the hotel owner. She had originally run out on Mike to find someone with money but is now bored and apparently wants to rekindle their romance. After some initial resistance, Mike succumbs to her charms and is eventually persuaded to steal the jewellery that Crawford fences as a lucrative sideline. She concocts an elaborate alibi for him but things start to go wrong when Mike believes he has killed Crawford while stealing the jewels. Then he receives blackmail threats but who is blackmailing Mike, was Crawford really dead and what are Lilaine's real motives?
I was quite entertained by this second feature film which moves along nicely and throws in some twists along the way. However the performances of the two leads could not be more diverse. Alan Baxter seemed wooden and uneasy throughout whereas Barbara Shelley is cool and sexy. If fact her delivery at times reminded me of the young Lauren Bacall but sadly Baxter was no Humphrey Bogart. If possible, catch this film if only to see Barbara Shelley – she looks stunning.