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EDGE OF FURY (directors: Irving Lerner/Robert Gurney Jr.; screenwriters: from the novel “Wisteria Cottage” by Robert M. Coates/Ted Berkman/Raphael Blau/Robert Gurney Jr.; cinematographer: Conrad Hall/Jack Couffer/Marvin Weinstein; music: Robert Sydney; cast: Michael Higgins (Richard Barrie), Doris Fesette (Louisa Hackett ), Jean Allison (Eleanor Hackett ), Lois Holmes (Florence Hackett); Runtime: 77; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Robert Gurney Jr.; United Artists; 1958)
An overlooked low-budget obscure thriller about a psychopath.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

An overlooked low-budget obscure thriller about a psychopath that’s co-directed by Irving Lerner(“Murder By Contract”/”City of Fear”/”Custer of the West”) and Robert Gurney Jr. (“The Girl From 5,000 A.D.”). It’s based on the novel “Wisteria Cottage” by Robert M. Coates, and is co-written by Gurney, Raphael Blau and Ted Berkman. It’s shot in b/w, and its excellent visuals are attributed to the great cinematographer Conrad Hall, in his first picture.

Florence Hackett (Lois Holmes) is a widow with two daughters, Eleanor (Jean Allison) and Louisa (Doris Fesette). The mom rents a cottage on Long Island for the summer. While grocery shopping she befriends the polite and clean-cut young beachcomber ex-serviceman Richard Barrie (Michael Higgins) and thinks of him as the son she always wanted. The girls have different reactions to Richard, the teenager Eleanor finds him cute while the sexy older Louisa, a model, finds him creepy and gets pleasure teasing him. Louisa also has a jock-type steady boyfriend.

Richard moves into an abandoned cottage near the Hacketts, and the mentally fragile youth when rebuffed in his attempt to relate to his fantasy gal will reveal himself as a homicidal maniac. What causes Richard’s mental instability is never disclosed, as we learn precious little of him except he can’t form a regular romantic relationship with a woman. He can only relate to a woman as a substitute mom.

Everything you want to know about the movie is in its tagline: “A night of tension … A moment of madness … And now he is at the edge of fury.”


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”