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Somewhere on the Italian Riviera: Madge Decker has died, and it was a
very apparent suicide - the room was locked from the inside, all windows
were taped shut, and there was nobody else in with her. And yet her
daughter Candy (Mandy Miller) suspects her stepfather Paul (Peter van
Eyck) to have killed her ... even if anything seems to point into another
direction, including the fact that his passport proves he was in France at
the time of his wife's death. That said, Candy is of course totally right:
Paul has drugged his wife, turned ont he gas, then he hid under the
floorboards with a snorkel getting him air from the outside. And he also
snorkeled from France to Italy to have an alibi, not a big deal since his
wife lived close to the border.
Of course, nobody believes Candy, not
even her companion Jean (Betta St.John), who more and more falls for
Paul's charms, so she picks up investigations on her own ... with very
little success at first. Then though, on the beach, she sees someone
snorkeling, remembers the snorkel she saw among Paul's things, and just
puts two and two together - and now Paul knows it's his time to move, so
she lures Jean back to her mother's house, tells her he has found her
mother's good-bye letter, then drugs her and tries to kill her like he
killed her mother. But Jean, who has suspected Candy would try to commit
suicide, and Wilson (William Franklyn), local British diplomat, break into
the room just in time to save Candy from death - while Paul has already
gone into hiding under the floorboards. Of course, when Candy tells them
about Paul's scheme, they pay little heed to her stories, think she just
wants to divert attention from her suicide attempt, but to humour her,
they look for Paul to prove he isn't there ... and of course can't find
him - but while they are looking for him, they move an especially heavy
piece of furniture over the floorboards he's under and then don't move it
back again ... ouch!
A very decent little suspense thriller
during which nothing much might be happening really, plus with the killer
given away at the beginning, there isn't too much of a mystery element,
either, and yet, the film manages to maintain tension throughout, and
manages to weave a few surprises into its not entirely unpredictable story
- and add to that a very good cast and subtle directorial effort, and
you've got yourself a very nice thriller.