Category Archives: Hammer Studios

Top 20 Amnesia Mystery Movies

Whether it’s the intrigue of Jason Bourne adventures or the farcical escapades of the Hangover films, memory loss remains a popular narrative device in fiction in general and at the cinema in particular. Here is a guide to my top 20 favourite … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, Alfred Hitchcock, Amnesia, Billy Wilder, Boileau-Narcejac, Charlie Chan, England, Eric Ambler, France, Greece, Hammer Studios, James Hilton, Jimmy Sangster, John Frankenheimer, Len Deighton, London, Los Angeles, LP Davies, New York, Orson Welles, San Francisco, Spain, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 78 Comments

Women of Twilight (1953) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Nothing to do with Stephenie Meyer, this stark social drama (aka Twilight Women) was based on Sylvia Rayman’s groundbreaking all-female play. The up-and-coming Lois Maxwell and Laurence Harvey co-star, though the film is dominated by René Ray as unlikely heroine Viviane and Freda Jackson … Continue reading

Posted in Film Noir, Hammer Studios, London, Noir on Tuesday, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 24 Comments

DICK BARTON: THE CASE OF THE VANISHING HOUSE (1978) by Alan Radnor

In the 1940s my mum and her sister used to rush home every school night to listen to the next exciting adventure of Dick Barton – Special Agent. Broadcast by the BBC from 6.45 to 7PM, the radio serials debuted … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Cold War, Dick Barton, Espionage, Friday's Forgotten Book, Hammer Studios, London, Novelisation, Radio, Scene of the crime | 43 Comments

A Taste of Evil (1971) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

This ABC TV Movie of the Week stars Barbara Stanwyck, that classiest of all Golden Age Hollywood leading ladies. After 25 years as a movie star and the eccentric highpoint that was Sam Fuller’s Forty Guns (1957), she gracefully made the … Continue reading

Posted in Hammer Studios, Jimmy Sangster, John Llewellyn Moxey, San Francisco, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 20 Comments

Side Effects

The thriller genre can be so capacious and seductive that filmmakers often use the form to smuggle in less commercial content on its coat-tails. Successful examples of this include the debate on Britain’s antiquated homosexuality laws found in Victim (1961), … Continue reading

Posted in Hammer Studios, Jimmy Sangster, New York, Steven Soderbergh, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 12 Comments

Douglas Slocombe – 100 years old today

OK movie buffs, here’s a fun pop quiz for you: what do Raiders of the Lost Ark, Sean Connery’s last Bond movie, Michael Caine in The Italian Job, Montgomery Clift’s turn as Sigmund Freud and several classic Ealing comedies such … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Basil Dearden, Douglas Slocombe, Film Noir, George Baxt, Gothic, Hammer Studios, Jimmy Sangster, Joseph Losey, London, New York, Paris, Scene of the crime, Screwball | 21 Comments

The Last Page (1952)

Released as Man Bait in the US, this story of blackmail and murder in the London book trade was adapted from a 1947 play by James Hadley Chase, a writer still best-known for the pulp shocker No Orchids for Miss … Continue reading

Posted in Hammer Studios, James Hadley Chase, London, Terence Fisher, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , , | 31 Comments

Spaceways (1953)

An engaging if curious genre hybrid, this is a patchwork movie combining Cold War espionage, a murder mystery and two love triangles in a science fiction setting – and all on the tightest of budgets. Unpretentious and fun, this British … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Espionage, Hammer Studios, Science Fiction, Spy movies, Terence Fisher, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 24 Comments

Wings of Danger (1952)

Zachary Scott stars in this British aviation mystery directed by Terence Fisher for Hammer Studios. It was based on the 1951 book Dead on Course by ‘Mansell Black’, a name used here by journalist Packham Webb and prolific novelist Elleston Trevor. … Continue reading

Posted in Elleston Trevor, Hammer Studios, Terence Fisher, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 34 Comments

Mantrap (1953)

Paul Henreid stars in this fast-paced British whodunit, an adaptation of Adam Hall’s Queen in Danger, my review of which you can read here. In the US the film was released as Man in Hiding and was one of dozens of … Continue reading

Posted in Adam Hall, Hammer Studios, London, Terence Fisher, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 20 Comments

QUEEN IN DANGER (1952) by Adam Hall

Elleston Trevor doesn’t rate a single mention in The Oxford Companion to Crime & Mystery Writing (1999), and that’s a real shame. The author of some 100 novels, as Trevor he published exciting war and adventure stories that easily stand … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Adam Hall, Amnesia, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Film Noir, Hammer Studios, London, Scene of the crime, Terence Fisher | 30 Comments

Edgar Wallace Mysteries (1960–65)

Between September 1960 and October 1965 cinemas in the UK screened 47 films produced by Anglo Amalgamated as part of their Edgar Wallace Mysteries series. These low-budget movies, more or less based on the works of the celebrated mystery author, … Continue reading

Posted in Edgar Wallace, George Baxt, Jimmy Sangster, London, Police procedural, Scene of the crime, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 25 Comments

BRAT FARRAR (1949) by Josephine Tey

Imposture lies at the heart of this well constructed suspense novel by Elizabeth Mackintosh, the Scottish author best known today for the mysteries she published as  ‘Josephine Tey’, though she also wrote books and plays using her own name and … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Golden Age Girls, Hammer Studios, Jimmy Sangster, Josephine Tey | 16 Comments

Fear in the Night (1972)

Joan Collins plays a sexy sculptress with a taste for blood and the grotesque in this ‘old school’ thriller from Hammer productions. The star though is topbilled Judy Geeson as Peggy, a mentally fragile newlywed who plans to join her … Continue reading

Posted in Hammer Studios, Jimmy Sangster, Scene of the crime, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 26 Comments

Stolen Face (1952)

Hammer Films came to prominence thanks to the series of bold horror films they made in colour from the late 1950s and throughout the next decade, the best of which were directed by Terence Fisher. But they both got their … Continue reading

Posted in Alfred Hitchcock, Hammer Studios, London, Terence Fisher, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 23 Comments

Crescendo (1970) – Tuesday’s Forgotten Film

Hammer made a return to the thriller genre after a break of several years by dusting off an old script by Alfred Shaughnessy that originally had been intended as a possible vehicle for Joan Crawford with Michael Reeves to direct. … Continue reading

Posted in France, Hammer Studios, Jimmy Sangster, Scene of the crime, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 18 Comments

The Nanny (1965) – Tuesday’s Forgotten Film

Bette Davis gives a subtle and nuanced performance as the title character in this small-scale suspense movie that deserves to be much better known. It is easy to succumb to the temptation to lump it together with What Ever Happened … Continue reading

Posted in Hammer Studios, Jimmy Sangster, London, Scene of the crime, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 34 Comments

THE TERROR (1930) by Edgar Wallace

Edgar Wallace was still a big name when I was growing up in Italy in the 1970s, his iconic signature and profile emblazoned on dozens of yellow paperbacks and linked to a long list of rather lurid movies usually set … Continue reading

Posted in Edgar Wallace, Gothic, Hammer Studios | 21 Comments

Hysteria (1965) – Tuesday’s Forgotten Film

The Hammer company stopped acting as its own distributor from the late 1950s, instead making deals with virtually all the Hollywood majors to handle (and bankroll) their output. This film is one of the few made for distribution by that … Continue reading

Posted in Amnesia, Hammer Studios, Jimmy Sangster, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 15 Comments

Paranoiac (1963) – Tuesday’s Forgotten Film

The young Oliver Reed was under contract at Hammer Studios just before becoming a major star and Paranoiac is among his best films of the period, providing the actor with one of his earliest chances to play the kind of … Continue reading

Posted in Gothic, Hammer Studios, Jimmy Sangster, Josephine Tey, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 45 Comments

Nightmare (1964) – Tuesday’s Forgotten Film

A teenage girl in her nightie walks down an eerie and dark corridor, apparently lost. Becoming increasingly uneasy and hearing voices, she fearfully open a door and finds her mother, grinning, apparently waiting for her. It’s the inside of a … Continue reading

Posted in Alfred Hitchcock, Gothic, Hammer Studios, Jimmy Sangster, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 16 Comments

Maniac (1963) – Tuesday’s Forgotten Film

In the movies it seems that the ‘Rural South’, irrespective of where it may actually be in the world, is synonymous with savage attitudes and retrograde customs; an atavistic haven where old customs die-hard; and where outsiders, usually from the … Continue reading

Posted in Film Noir, France, Hammer Studios, James M. Cain, Jimmy Sangster, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 27 Comments

Taste of Fear (1961) – Tuesday’s Forgotten Film

This film, released more prosaically in the US as Scream of Fear, is a psychological suspense yarn plainly inspired by Les Diaboliques (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955) but offering several neat twists and turns of its own. A superior Hammer movie – from … Continue reading

Posted in Hammer Studios, Jimmy Sangster, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 23 Comments

The Snorkel (1958) – Tuesday’s Forgotten Film

This oddly titled movie is an inverted mystery about a husband who comes up with a seemingly full-proof method to bump off his wife. As such we know the identity of the villain right from the start, though there is … Continue reading

Posted in Columbo, Hammer Studios, Jimmy Sangster, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 19 Comments

Jimmy Sangster (1927 – 2011)

The British writer-producer-director Jimmy Sangster (James Henry Kinmel Sangster) has died aged 83. Long associated with the films made at Hammer Studios, where he first had a long career as an assistant director before moving on to writing, he is … Continue reading

Posted in Hammer Studios, Jimmy Sangster, RIP | 12 Comments