Finger of Guilt | Chicago Reader

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The fourth feature directed in England by American Joseph Losey (1956), credited pseudonymously to Joseph Walton due to the Hollywood blacklist, this serviceable but rarely screened thriller was released overseas in a version ten minutes longer as The Intimate Stranger. Scripted by Casablanca's Howard Koch (another blacklisted expatriate at the time, signing himself Peter Howard) and shot on a shoestring in a dozen days, it concerns an American film producer (Richard Basehart) working in London whose job and marriage are threatened by an American actress (The Wild One's Mary Murphy) claiming to be his mistress. It's less effective than the English thrillers made during the same period by the similarly blacklisted Cy Endfield, though the uses made of an English filmmaking milieu are both convincing and fascinating, and it's interesting to see Roger Livesey, a Michael Powell regular, turning up in a central part. It seems a Losey specialty to make almost all of his characters unpleasant, but the assured engagement of his best American work and subsequent English films like The Damned is only fitfully apparent here. With Mervyn Johns and Constance Cummings.

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