Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense - The Corvini Inheritance
Roy Skeggs for Hammer/20th Century Fox
directed by Gabrielle Beaumont
starring David McCallum, Jan Francis, Terence Alexander, Stephen Yardley, Paul Bacon, Timothy Morand, Mollie Maureen, Leonard Trolley, Robert Swales, Benedick Blythe, Marianne Borgo, Johnnie Wade, Peter Atard, Kristie Pooley, Ruth Burnett, Benjamin Feitelson, Christian J.Fletcher
written by David Fisher, music by David Bedford
Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense
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Frank Lane (David McCallum) is the head of security of an important
auction house, and he is the best there is, which is why the Corvini
Inheritance - an almost priceless collection of renaissance jewellery
- is placed in his care. But Frank isn't only a security man at work, he
even takes his job home, keeps a close eye on the goings-on in his
neighbourhood and puts everything down in his journal.
One day, his next-door-neighbour Eva (Jan Francis) is threatened by
some peeping tom in a skimask who even tried to break into her appartment
- and from here on, Frank takes a special interest in her safety in
particular and her in general, installing all kinds of precautions
including a video camera in the hallway in front of her door. By now
though, the Corvini Inheritance, which is said to be cursed, has
taken some hypnotic control over him and he starts slipping up. Plus Eva
shows not nearly the same interest in him he does in her, and soon she
brings a boyfriend home and all he can do is watch on his video
surveillance system. But then, one day, one day when watching a surveillance tape from a few minutes ago
he sees the man with the skimask
in the hallway, and he murders Eva in cold blood. But when he takes off
the skimask, the killer proves to be Frank himself ...
The premise of this episode - a security man getting so caught up in
his job that he breaks down in the end - is incredibly interesting,
unfortunately the episode as such falls several feet short of its promise
... simply because the script doesn't really work out and several plot
elements seem to be ill at ease with each other. Still, the episode isn't
all bad, it's well played and still features some interesting plottwists -
it's just not as good as it could/should have been, not by a long shot.