Cast a Dark Shadow
Cast a Dark Shadow – 1955 | 82 mins | Thriller | B&W
Modest but entertaining noir thriller from John Cresswell’s unoriginal screenplay and based on the well adapted play ‘Murder Mistaken’ by Janet Green. Proficiently directed by Lewis Gilbert with a degree of style, he unfortunately fails to exact enough tension from the taut and moody old-fashioned suspenser. Dirk Bogarde is excellent but it’s fading star Margaret Lockwood that gives her best performance in some years and is particularly effective as the sharp-tongued ex-barmaid.
A devious charmer, estate agent Edward ‘Teddy’ Bare (Dirk Bogarde), is cleared of murdering his first wife, dowdy Monica (Mona Washbourne), for financial gain. Monica had wished to change her will to ensure her money was bequeathed to Teddy, but her cynical family lawyer, Phillip Mortimer(Robert Flemyng), doubted her husband’s sincerity and strongly advised against this. This subsequent coroner’s inquest returns a verdict of accidental death, and at the reading of the will, Bare discovers he’s inherited nothing but a house and that all the money has gone to Monica’s sister.
Teddy decrees that ‘somebody has got to pay my passage’, and commences a search for another wealthy spinster. He remarries another rich widow, canny former barmaid Freda (Margaret Lockwood), who is naturally suspicious. They marry on ‘pound for pound’’ terms, so Teddy has borrow money from his Uncle Charlie to match Freda’s wealth. When he meets Charlotte (Kay Walsh), however, murder is back on the agenda as Teddy believes he may have unwittingly discovered a willing accomplice, but Freda proves less easy to dispose of.
Lewis Gilbert: Director
John Stoll: Art Direction
Jack Asher: Cinematography
Julie Harris: Costume Design
Gordon Pilkington: Film Editing
Gerry Fairbanks: Makeup Department
Doris Pollard: Makeup Department
Antony Hopkins: Original Music
Herbert Mason: Producer
John Cresswell: Script
Dave Howells: Sound Department