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

Thursday, March 4, 2021


Sister and brother: Domergue and Benson 
SPIN A DARK WEB (1956). Director: Vernon Sewell. 

Jim Bankley (Lee Patterson) hopes to get a start in the fight game, but is willing to take anything. His friend, Buddy (Robert Arden), arranges for Jim to meet his boss, Rico Francesi (Martin Benson), but he particularly ignites the interest of Rico's sexy sister, Bella (Faith Domergue of Where Danger Lives). One of Rico's flunkies, McLeod (Bernard Fox), is told to pay a relatively benign call on a boxer, Bill (Peter Hammond), who refused to take a dive, but violence ensues, and Bill is killed. Jim is also involved with Bill's sister, Betty (Rona Anderson), who is appalled that he is now working for Rico. Things begin spiraling downward from there, with Jim regretting that he ever got involved with this mob, and Bella determined to hold on to him -- at any cost. 

Lee Patterson and Rona Anderson 
Spin a Dark Web is the kind of British thriller I would normally review on my brother blog B Movie Nightmarebut this picture is a little bit different. The main difference is a highly interesting cast. Lee Patterson was a Canadian actor who had quite a list of credits in British "B"s before landing a gig in the American private eye show Surfside Six and doing US TV work and soap operas thereafter. He gives a solid performance in this as a man a bit on the shady side who still has some principles. Faith Domergue [Dah-mure], a Howard Hughes discovery (and more) in her teens, became a cult figure due to appearances in such films as It Came from Beneath the Sea and This Island Earth. She gives a good performance in this although one might have wished she came on a lot stronger in certain sequences, but Joan Crawford she wasn't. Martin Benson was in everything from The Cosmic Monsters to Gorgo to Goldfinger and always fit the bill. Robert Arden was the leading man in Orson Welle's Mr Arkadin/Confidential Agent, and he scores in this supporting part as well. Pleasant and pretty, Rona Anderson appeared in numerous UK movies. 

Spin a Dark Web has a good (if familiar) story and is generally well-paced, although with better and tighter editing and more use of close-ups the climax could have been a real nail-biter. Domergue and Patterson play well together.

Verdict: Domergue is not so "dah mure" in this! ***.


angelman66 said...

Faith Domergue had a great screen presence, and I have noticed her more and more over the years. Will look for this one.
- Chris

William said...

I like the gal, and it's not just because she appeared in some of my favorite childhood movies. She did have presence, and I love the way she sometimes speaks in a way that uses her mouth and approximates Monroe, in a sense.