Wednesday 5 August 2020

Blind Corner aka Man in the Dark - 1963 film review

Blind Corner is a British film, not to be confused with the Dornford Yates novel with the same title. In the US it was known as Man in the Dark, and it's one of those thriller films featuring a blind protagonist who is menaced by sighted people with sinister motives. The script, not based on a novel, was written by James Kelley and Peter Miller. Kelly died relatively young, but Miller continued working into the 1980s and his later TV credits included scripts for the likes of Bergerac and Shoestring.

Like so many British B movies of its day, this is a film with an American star in a lead role, a ploy designed to make the film more commercial. William Sylvester is Paul Gregory, a gifted but irritable composer who has settled for making money by writing pop songs. Gregory is married to Anne, a beautiful woman (played by Barbara Shelley) whose interest in him has faded since he tragically lost his sight. It soon emerges that she's having an affair with a young artist, Rickie Seldon and Paul's manager (Mark Eden) reveals this to Paul. Faced with the prospect of losing her luxury lifestyle, Anne contemplates murder...

It's a familiar enough story, but the plot is quite nicely handled. One weakness of the film is that, again no doubt for commercial reasons, it's padded out by the inclusion of two so-so songs performed by Ronnie Carroll, who was quite a star at the time. These scenes don't really add to the story's development at all.

Mark Eden is a very reliable actor, and he and Barbara Shelley give strong performances in a movie that's certainly watchable, if not exceptionally memorable, and Elizabeth Shepherd is also good as the secretary who is devoted to Paul, but despite my sympathy for his vulnerability, I felt Sylvester rather overdid the irascibility.   

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