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

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Dane Clark

PAID TO KILL (1954). Director: Montgomery Tully.

In a variation of the old plot about a man hiring someone to kill him and then wanting to call it off, James Neville (Dane Clark) is convinced that a business deal gone south will not only ruin him but the company he heads, so he blackmails an associate, Paul (Paul Kirby) into killing him so his wife can collect the insurance money. But then the deal is back on again, and Neville is saved, only someone is still trying to kill him -- and it doesn't appear to be Paul. Suspects include his apparently loving secretary, Joan (Cecile Chevreau), his wife, Andrea (Thea Gregory), and his friend, Peter (Anthony Forwood), among others. Paid to Kill is well-acted and suspenseful, and with a little more care might have really amounted to something; as it is it's entertaining. Clark gives a very good performance as the not terribly likable Neville, and the others in the cast are good as well.

Verdict: Not bad Hammer mystery film. ***.

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