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

Thursday, December 24, 2015


John Loder and Michael St. Angel
THE BRIGHTON STRANGLER (1945). Director: Max Nosseck.

Reginald Parker (John Loder of Old Acquaintance) has made a name for himself playing Edward Grey, the notorious Brighton Strangler, on the London stage. When he is hit on the head during the blitz, he loses his memory, is presumed dead, and imagines he really is Edward Grey, with highly unfortunate results. "Grey" takes the train to Brighton where -- between murders -- he is befriended by April (June Duprez of The Thief of Bagdad) and her family. April has a secret husband in Bob Carson (Michael St. Angel), who begins to suspect that there's something wrong with the pleasant Mr. Grey. The Brighton Strangler is a minor thriller, but it does have moments of genuine suspense and several interesting sequences, the best-handled of which is the murder of Inspector Allison (Miles Mander) in his own home. The performers all give competent if second-rate performances. Although Rose Hobart [Conflict] isn't bad as Dorothy, the playwright and Parker's girlfriend, there is one especially tense sequence in which Hobart -- "Dorothy" having learned that Parker is not only alive but may be strangling people -- registers all the emotion of someone ordering dinner in a restaurant. Ian Wolfe plays the ill-fated Brighton mayor. Michael St. Angel also appeared in The Velvet Touch using the name Steven Flagg.

Verdict:  Stay out of Brighton. **1/2.

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