Just a short look today at two British film noir movies:
Snowbound (1948) David MacDonald
Kino British Noir (1:30)
Snowbound is an average British noir that’s really more espionage thriller than noir, although the thrills take quite awhile to develop. Dennis Price poses as a movie screenwriter trying to get some writing done in an Alpine lodge, but he’s really spying out people who might be looking for hidden Nazi treasure. Standouts are Herbert Lom (above) as a shifty character who’s certainly suspicious and an amazing musical score by Cedric Thorpe Davie and the London Symphony Orchestra.
Appointment with Crime (1946) John Harlow
Amazon streaming (1:32)
Appointment with Crime is an odd, but very effective low-budget noir that I wish had been included in the Kino British Noir package, but since Olive Films is releasing it on Blu-ray in a couple of weeks (June 21, 2016), there’s reason to rejoice. Leo Martin (William Hartnell) works as a “smash-and-grab” criminal who gets his wrists crushed in a jewelry store heist. That’s bad enough, but what’s worse is having the other members of your gang abandon you. Thus begins a compelling noir/revenge film that really gets under your skin, largely due to a creepy performance by William Hartnell. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Hartnell was the very first Doctor Who from 1963 to 1966. (By the way, Herbert Lom is in this film also, and he’s quite nasty.)
Appointment with Crime exists in its own oddball little world with its own oddball rules, but it’s definitely worth a look. If you watch the film on Amazon Prime, you’ll notice several dropouts. I’m eager to see if these have been corrected on the Olive release or whether they’re permanently part of the original print.