Friday, 20 December 2013

Danger By My Side.

Maureen Connell with gang boss Alan Tilvern.

When the Walton studios closed in 1961 the family business of Butchers Film Distribution carried on under the leadership of John Phillips, who made some of the company's most successful B movies, Films like Francis Searle's Gaolbreak (1962) and the subject of this ramble Danger By My Side (1962). The movie was made at the Shepperton Film Studios in Boreham Wood and gained an advantageous circuit distribution because it supported Cape Fear (1962) the American psychological drama directed by J. Lee Thompson and starring Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck.

As is normal with B movies the staple diet is crime, the police were always right, honesty was the best policy and that a life of crime was for mugs. Crime characters were dressed in smart suit’s, speak with pseudo American accent's, drive American cars and spent there time in strip clubs or bars when of course they are not involved in a crime of some sort, in this film it's diamond smuggling, but that's not an important part of the narrative. The main story revolves around Lynne Marsden (Maureen Connell who appeared alongside Carol White in Never Let Go two years earlier) who investigates her brother’s death at the hands of a villainous gang of crooks. Using the pseudonym of Lynne Austin she infiltrates the gang and gets a job at a club where their boss Venning (Alan Tilvern) organizes his criminal activities.

Yes of course everything is contrived and pretty obvious but for me it's a nostalgic example of a type of movie that is no longer made. Its director was Charles Saunders who made thirty six B movies, most of which benefitted from his editorial background but his career came to a halt after Danger By My Side when the supporting feature was no more: RIP.

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