Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


THE GIRL IN BLACK STOCKINGS (1957). Director: Howard W. Koch.

A young woman is found sliced and diced in an area near a hotel in Utah owned by Ed Parry, a bitter, woman-hating "cripple" (Ron Randell) and the sister, Julia, (Marie Windsor) who takes care of him. The young lady is only the first of a number of victims. The suspects are numerous and include lawyer David Hewson (Lex Barker); his girlfriend Beth (Anne Bancroft), who is Ed's physical therapist; washed-up actor Norman Grant (John Holland) and his girlfriend Harriet (Mamie Van Doren); good-lookin' Frankie Pierce (Gerald Frank); and crazy "Indian Joe" (Larry Chance), among others. John Dehner is the sheriff on the case, Richard Cutting is the doctor, and Stuart Whitman shows up briefly as a man looking for his wife. Dan Blocker, later to play "Hoss" on Bonanza, appears as an obnoxious bartender. Bancroft is, as expected, much better than the material, but Randell mostly seems to be making faces. The Girl in Black Stockings has an interesting plot and characters, but the murder scenes have no elan and the wind-up is psychologically dubious to say the least. Still, it has its moments. From those classy folk at Bel-Air studios who brought you Three Bad Sisters and Voodoo Island.

Verdict: Bancroft went on to better things. **1/2.

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