14 April 2010 | wilvram
Who was The Third Visitor?
Suave supercilious Carling (Karel Stepanek) receives several callers to his isolated house, all of whom hold a grudge against him. Next morning a corpse is found, and later identified as his by one of the visitors.
An atmospheric thriller with Gothic overtones, including a villain living in an old dark house complete with underground passages, whose architect he attempted to bury alive, THE THIRD VISITOR is one of two films made in succession by veteran director Maurice Elvey for producer Ernest Gartside, the other being the slightly better known THE LATE EDWINA BLACK. It opens vividly with the electrifying music over the title credits (an unacknowledged straight lift of the first movement coda of Bruckner's 9th symphony) culminating in a striking shot of a woman, manacled against a wall with an unseen person on the verge of firing at her, as the legend WHO WAS THE THIRD VISITOR? is emblazoned across the screen. Though there is a great deal of dialogue the actors and the occasional directorial flourish such as this ensure that tedium is kept firmly at bay. Typically spirited performances ensue from Sonia Dresdel (in a rare sympathetic and at times light-hearted role) and Eleanor Summerfield as two wives who clearly don't play second fiddle to their respective husbands (Colin Gordon and Hubert Gregg), their only real match being Guy Middleton's Inspector. Film's main flaw is the risible casting of John Slater as a New York gangster.