February 27, 2017


Yield to the Night – 1956 | 93 mins | Drama | B&W


Plot Synopsis

Yield to the Night

Loosely based on the Ruth Ellis case, the last woman in Britain to hang, this oddly austere drama from director  J Lee Thompson features Diana Dors as the unrepentant murderess waiting in prison, thinking back over the events that made her kill by way of multiple flashbacks, and agonising over whether she’ll face execution or reprieve. Decidedly anti-capital punishment, the film never actually excites, but thanks to the downbeat mood and the surprisingly effective performances, it does grip the attention. Harrowing for its time, today Yield to the Night is dreary and not particularly well acted, and strictly for those who agree with its sincere yet overt anti-capital punishment message. The same story was strikingly filmed some 30 years later by Mike Newell in Dance with a Stranger.

Mary Hilton (Diana Dors) empties her revolver into a romantic rival, a wealthy married woman who ruined Mary’s adulterous relationship with pianist boyfriend Jim Lancaster (Michael Craig). Mary is convicted of murder and sent to prison, where she waits vacantly to hear her fate from the prison governess.

Production Team

J. Lee Thompson: Director
Robert Jones: Art Direction
Gilbert Taylor: Cinematography
Richard Best: Film Editing
AG Scott: Makeup Department
LV Clark: Makeup Department
Ray Martin: Original Music
Kenneth Harper: Producer
Arthur Bradburn: Sound Department
Harold V King: Sound Department
Len Shilton: Sound Department


Diana Dors: Mary Price Hilton
Yvonne Mitchell: Matron Hilda MacFarlane
Michael Craig: Jim Lancaster
Marie Ney: Prison Governess
Olga Lindo: Senior Matron Hill
Joan Miller: Matron Barker
Mary Mackenzie: Matron
Marjorie Rhodes: Matron Brandon
Geoffrey Keen: Prison Chaplain
Liam Redmond: Prison Doctor
Dandy Nichols: Mrs Price

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