Movie Diary 6/4/2018

Scarlet Thread (Lewis Gilbert, 1951). Laurence Harvey, still with baby fat, is a hoodlum who picks up women with an American accent; taken under the wing of smooth criminal Sydney Tafler, the two must take refuge in a Cambridge house when a job goes wrong. The situation is fruitful, even when the storytelling is sometimes clunky. And the household is run by restless Kathleen Byron (from, like I need to tell you, Black Narcissus), who immediately becomes very flushed over Harvey’s proximity. With ol’ sobersides Arthur Hill hanging around, who can blame her? Tafler’s character is also interesting, as it turns it he is rather more cultivated than first appears. The whole movie keeps threatening to become better than it is. Apparently the final sequence has been lost, although all the ducks are in a row when it stops (the presumed finale has been foreshadowed pretty heavily). Harvey seems a little more human with the extra puffiness.

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