Monday, 19 December 2016

Rogue's Yarn - 1957 film review

Rogue's Yarn is a film released in 1957 which has recently featured on the Talking Pictures TV channel. The clever screenplay, by Vernon Sewell and Ernie Bradford, is an "inverted mystery", and the story is told in gripping fashion. It may not be Dial M for Murder, but it's not far short of Hitchcock's much better known movie in terms of storytelling quality. A well-made film, it's definitely worth watching.

Our attention is grabbed right at the start. Michele Cartier (Nicole Mauray) is waiting for the arrival of her lover, John Marsden (Derek Bond, the best-known actor in the cast). He announces that he has bad news. This turns out to be an announcement that his invalid wife, whose death the pair had been eagerly anticipating, is now expected to make a full recovery from serious illness.

The snag is that the wife is very rich, and the lovers are desperate not only to get together, but to do so with Mrs Marsden's money. The only solution is murder. Marsden, an accomplished sailor, quickly works out an elaborate plan which involves taking his boat on a trip to Le Havre to create an alibi, then swimming back to the English shore to do the dirty deed.

At first, all goes well. Unfortunately, the Yard are called in, and Inspector Walker (Elwyn Brook-Jones, who is very good in the role) decides to take a closer look at the circumstances of the crime. We know that all is not likely to go well for Marsden, and we don't like him enough to root for him to get away with it, but there are several memorable moments, notably including a great scene where Walker, not once but several times, nearly walks into a fatal trap set by the bad guy.


Graham Powell said...

Hey, I saw this one just the other day. Wait - Rogue's Yarn?

Never mind.

Mike Brough said...

Just watched it on the Talking Pictures channel. It has echoes of Mystery in the Channel - the same auto-pilot motif.

Superficial, I know, but...

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Mike. Good point.