Movie Diary 10/28/2018

Wanted for Murder (aka A Voice in the Night, Lawrence Huntington, 1946). Part police procedural, part precursor to Strangers on a Train (complete with fairground predations); a madman is killing women in London, taunting Inspector Roland Culver and Sergeant Stanley Holloway with his hand-written promises to kill again. Meanwhile, a nice young woman (Dulcie Gray) who works in a gramophone shop is torn between a distinguished suitor (Eric Portman) and a bus conductor (Derek Farr). Pretty good all the way through, with a dollop of psychological claptrap and pleasant humor. One of the screenwriters is Eric Pressburger. Bonar Colleano plays a small role.

To Dorothy a Son (aka Cash on Delivery, Muriel Box, 1954). Bizarre on every level, this one betrays its roots as a stage play even though it roams around a little. Peggy Cummins – who does not leave her bed for the entirety of her performance – is pregnant and due, as husband John Gregson tries to finish a composing commission in their house in the countryside. Complication: His American ex-wife (Shelley Winters) arrives because she needs to make sure that (hold on) he has not had any male children yet, because her dead uncle, not realizing the couple had divorced, left him 2 million dollars (unless they are childless, in which case she gets all the money). Will the baby arrive before the cut-off date for the inheritance? Will husband tell second wife what is really going on? Will Cummins ever get out of bed? I guess I spoiled that last one. Pretty labored, and no, that pun is not intentional.