Monday, 26 June 2017

Out of the Fog - 1962 film review

Out of the Fog is a black and white thriller film dating from 1962. Its alternate title, Fog for a Killer, is also the title of the book, written by Bruce Graeme, on which the screenplay is based. Graeme, a founder member of the Crime Writers' Association, enjoyed a long and prolific career as a novelist, and although he was never a superstar, he was a highly professional storyteller.

His ability to put together a suspenseful story is illustrated by this film. George Mallon (David Sumner) is a surly young man with a series of convictions to his name. He's released from prison, and offered a place in a hostel along with a number of other ex-cons, with whom he fails to bond. I was intrigued to see that the woman who helps to run the hostel was played by Renee Houston, whose sister Billie made a brief foray into crime writing with Twice Round the Clock. .

Mallon gets a job as a delivery man, and has a brief romance with a young blonde woman which ends abruptly when she is murdered. Nor is she the first victim of a killer with a seeming taste for killing young blonde women. The police suspect Mallon, but have no evidence to prove his guilt. So a young blonde-haired officer (Susan Travers) is given the task of acting as bait.

Needless to say, things don't go according to plan. I figured out what was going to happen, but that didn't prevent me from enjoying this short, snappy film. Sumner and Travers went on to enjoy long careers as actors without really hitting the heights, but Travers in particular does a good job here. There's a decent jazzy soundtrack by Ken Thorne, and overall I felt this film was a notch or two above the average for its time.

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