LIMPING MAN, THE
(director: Cy Endfield; screenwriters: from the story “Death on the Tideway” by Anthony Verney/Reginald Long/Ian Stuart Black; cinematographer: Jonah Jones; editor: Stan Willis; music: Arthur Wilkinson; cast: Llyoyd Bridges (Frank Pryor), Moira Lister (Pauline French), Helene Cordet (Helene Castle), Bruce Beeby (Kendal Brown), Alan Wheatley (Inspector Braddock), Leslie Philips (Detective Cameron), Rachel Roberts (Barmaid), André Van Gyseghern(George, stage doorman, a crippled who walks with a limp), Tom Gill (Stage Manager), Jean Marsh (Landlady’s daughter), Marjory Hume (Landlady); Runtime: 75; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: DonaldGinsberg; Alpha Home Entertainment; 1953-UK)
“It’s about a bad, a disappointing and a phony ending as I ever witnessed to a movie.“
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
An exciting crime thriller directed by blacklisted in exile American filmmaker Cy Endfield (“Zulu”/”Try and Get Me”/”Jet Storm”), who hired for a price real Brit director Charles De Lautour to front for him as Endfield used his name on the credits. Endfield has a good thriller going, only it’s severely marred by a cop-out Hollywood ending.It’s about a bad, a disappointing and a phony ending as I ever witnessed to a movie.It’s based on the story“Death on the Tideway” by Anthony Verney, and is written by Reginald Long and Ian Stuart Black.
American ex-G.I. captain, now a construction engineer, Frank Pryor (Lloyd Bridges), arrives in London by air to rekindle a lapsed wartime romance with Pauline French (Moria Lister), a pretty and high energy thrill seeking British actress and sportswoman he hasn’t seen in six years. After exiting the plane Frank stops at the airport terminal to get a light from another passenger and a sniper kills the stranger. Questioned by Scotland Yard detectives Inspector Braddock (Alan Wheatley) and Detective Cameron (Leslie Philips), Frank is released. It turns out the victim, Kendal Brown (Bruce Beeby), is a career criminal and known smuggler. When Frank hooks up with Pauline, he finds her a nervous wreck and squeezes out of her that she had an intimate relationship with Brown and foolishly used her boat to help him in his smuggling operation. She broke up with him a year ago realizing he was a dangerous criminal, but he still hounds her and threatens her with blackmail. Frank fears Pauline is in deep trouble that’s over her head and, despite being warned by the detectives to stay away from Pauline, he becomes involved in the murder mystery. It soon becomes apparent that there’s more to this assassination than meets the eye, and that Pauline is in deep trouble.
This film is a gem for around seventy minutes (thereby making it worthwhile seeing), but those last five minutes were not well-thought out by the writers and mess up a taut moody thriller film noir that was moving along fine until it derailed.
Because Lloyd Bridge’s Hollywood career hit a temporary bump in the road, he traveled to London to see if he could perk his career up by changing locations and roles. But the father of Jeff’s big break came a few years later when he starred in the popular television series Sea Hunt.
REVIEWED ON 8/31/2010 GRADE: B-