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36 Hours
Terror Street

UK 1953
produced by
Anthony Hinds for Hammer, Lippert Pictures
directed by Montgomery Tully
starring Dan Duryea, Elsie Albiin, Gudrun Ure, Eric Pohlmann, John Chandos, Kenneth Griffith, Harold Lang, Jane Carr, Michael Golden, Marianne Stone, Christine Adrian, Robert Henderson, Lee Patterson, John Wynn, Stephen Vercoe, Sheila Berry, Gabrielle Blunt, Angely Glynne, Cleo Rose, Kenneth Brown, Richard Ford, Jacqueline McKenzie, Russell Napier, Robert O'Neal, John Warren
written by Steve Fisher, music by Ivor Stanley

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Post War Great Britain: An US-American Air Force Major, Bill Rogers (Dan Duryea), has persuaded his friends in the force to smuggle him into the UK so he can spend a little time (the titular 36 hours) with his wife Katie (Elsie Albiin), whom he had to leave behind when he had to return to the USa for a year for special training. He finds his wife has swapped apartment though and now seems to be living the high life, has maybe even become a prostitute, but once he meets eye to eye with her, he is knocked out from behind, and when he comes to, he finds her murdered, and by his gun that's still in his hand, too.

Without having done anything, Rogers sudenly finds himself on the run, and the only person willing to help him is Jenny (Gudrun Ure) who works for the local mission and who for some reason believes he is innocent.

Rogers finds out that Katie had worked for customs agent Orville Hart (John Chandos) - and not as a prostitute as he initially thought -, and that she might have stored some evidence away in a bank locker ... and for some reason, Hart is a little too keen on getting his hands on the evidence. Ultimately it turns out that Hart is a blackmailer in cahoots with diamond smuggler Slossen (Eric Pohlmann), and that he killed Katie because he thought she had evidence against Slossen. With Katie dead though, Rogers is the only one able to get his hands on the bank locker, so Hart and Slossen kidnap Jenny to force him hand over the locker's content - but Slossen has a nephew, Henry (Kenneth Griffith), who was in love with Katie and who hates his uncle with a passion, which is why Rogers is able to use him to get to Slossen's hideout, where he plays Slossen and Hart against each other, which ends with Slossen being killed. But when it's Rogers' turn to be shot, the police arrives, called to the scene by Jenny, who has since been freed, and Hart is arrested while Rogers is cleared of all suspicions. When he opens the bank locker though out of curiosity, he can't find any incriminating material there, just private things and evidence for her love for him ...

In the end, Rogers only just catches the plane back to the USA to end his 36 hours stay.

 

Well written if a bit convoluted British film noir that's also graced with a competent direction - however the main attraction of this film is Dan Duryea, given the rare opportunity (at least inside the noir genre) to not play a psycho but a good guy, and he handles that role just perfectly, providing his character with just enough vulnerability to make him believable as the broken widower without destroying the resourceful man on the run aspects of the role. Tot ell you the truth, I have no idea if the movie would be even half as good without Duryea, but luckily he is in it and makes it almost a must-see.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.

 

There's No Such Thing as Zombies
starring
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special appearances by
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directed by
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written by
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produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke

 

now streaming at

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
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Tales to Chill
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the new anthology by
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