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

Thursday, August 2, 2018


Richard Todd and Anne Heywood
THE VERY EDGE (1963). Director: Cyril Frankel.

"You can't change what happens to you -- only how you feel about it."

Former model and happily married wife Tracey Lawrence (Anne Heywood) is assaulted and nearly raped in her home by a stalker,  Mullen (Jeremy Brett), who is obsessed with her; the incident results in her miscarrying. Her architect husband, Geoffrey (Richard Todd), is supportive, but eventually becomes impatient because Tracey's trauma prevents her from being intimate with him. Geoffrey's new secretary, Helen (Nicole Maurey), seems more than willing to take up the slack and an attraction between the two develops. Meanwhile, the stalker is still on the loose, and still focused on having his way with Tracey ... The Very Edge has all the elements of a good thriller, but it might have been more entertaining had it gone in more lurid directions. Anne Heywood gives an excellent performance as the likable Tracey, and Todd [The Hasty Heart] is also top notch, even if one questions his character and his actions late in the film. Brett is compelling in an unusual role for him, especially when you consider that just the following year he would be warbling "On the Street Where You Live" in My Fair Lady. Jack Hedley [The Anniversary] also scores as Inspector McInnes, adding nuances to his role, such as a possible attraction to Tracey himself. One might not expect the brilliance of , say, a Bernard Herrmann, but David Lee's musical score is rather poor. Cyril Frankel also directed the harder-hitting Never Take Candy from a Stranger.

Verdict: Reasonably absorbing if minor-league melodrama. **1/2, 


angelman66 said...

If this had been made a few years later, it might have been able to be more frank in its approach to the subject matter. Still, I like Richard Todd so will watch if I get the chance.

William said...

Todd is terrific, the picture less so.