Three Cases of Murder, a film dating from 1955, was released a while back on DVD. It isn't an especially renowned film, even though Orson Welles appears in it, but it really ought to be. I think it bears comparison with Dead of Night, that classic chiller, which scared me when I was eleven years old, and watched it for the first time. Like Dead of Night, this one is a portmanteau film, comprising three distinct stories (apparently, the origiinal plan was for there to be five stories, but budget pressures forced a cut-back; even so, it's a very watchable film.)
The linking device between the stories is different from that in Dead of Night, and less powerful. In fact, it now seems rather odd. Each story is introduced by, of all people, Eamonn Andrews. Perhaps the film shoudl have been called This is Your Death. I'm afraid Eamoon doesn't add a lot of value; the film succeeds in spite of his presence, rather than thanks to it.
The first of the three stories, "In the Picture", is the most memorable. It's a very macabre story written by Roderick Wilson, yet I've been unable to find out anything about Wilson; does anyone reading this blog know anything about him? The tale begins quite jauntily, with some rather intrusive background music, but soon settles into something different, and disturbing. It's worth watching the movie for this segment alone.
"You Killed Elizabeth" is based on a story by Brett Halliday (real name David Dresser), who was at one time married to the admirable Helen McCloy. It's a short, competent whodunit, featuring John Gregson in his pre-George Gideon days. "Lord Mountdrago", based on a story by Somerset Maugham, stars Welles as a nasty Foreign Secretary who is haunted by his enemy, a Kinnock-esque politician played by the excellent Alan Badel, who also has key roles in the other two segments. The DVD also contains as a bonus an Irish ghost story which again features Welles. I was expecting something okay from this film, but found I was watching something truly enjoyable. Strongly recommended.