Directed by John Guillermin, written by John Guillermin (story), Peter De Sarigny (story) and Alun Falconer screenplay. The film stars Richard Todd as John Cummings, Peter Sellers as Lionel Meadows, Elizabeth Sellars as Anne Cummings, Adam Faith as Tommy Towers, Carol White as
Jackie, Mervyn Johns as Alfie Barnes, Noel Willman as Inspector Thomas, David Lodge as Cliff,
Peter Jones as Alec Berger, John Bailey as MacKinnon, and Nigel Stock as Regan.
Cinematography was by Christopher Challis. Music by the great John Barry (Body Heat (1981), Hammett (1982)) this was his first film score.
"What makes a Noir/Neo Noir Film is an individual internal factor. It's subjectivity. Noir is in all of us. Think of us all as having an internal tuning fork, these tuning forks are forged by our life experiences which are all basically unique. When we watch these films their degree of Noir-ness resonates with us differently, so we either "tune" to them or we don't. The amount of "tuning" (I'm appropriating this term from the Neo Noir Dark City (1998)) to certain films will vary between us all also."
|Lionel (Sellers) and MacKinnon (Bailey) cash for titles|
|Tommy Towers (Faith) about to steal the Anglica|
|The Anglica is gone. John Cummings (Todd)|
|Anne Cummings (Sellars)|
|Alfie (Johns) his fish bowl and John|
The next day Alfie's flop is trashed. John calls the police. Alfie doesn't talk, but an associate of Towers sees the police at Alfie's. He tells Towers who in turn tells Meadows about the "nob" (John) who is asking questions.
|Lionel (Sellers), Jackie (White), Tommy (Faith)|
John's wife wants him to forget about trying to get the car back. She's becoming distressed about his actions, actions which she, in a backhanded way, ignited. She told John that he was always chasing pipe dreams that he never caught and made reality. That sets John off, determined to "never let go" until he gets his Anglica back.
John's obsession and alienation from his wife increases steadily throughout the remainder of the film. This change is convincingly well acted by Todd who goes from soggy milquetoast to hard crust burnt toast. Peter Sellers though is practically unrecognizable. His Meadows character looks like his pudgy evil twin. He's frighteningly different, very twisted from the comedic Sellers we are used to. He sports a push-broom mustache. He is petty, vicious, vile, and has the facade of an outwardly polite charmer. Meadows pseudo smiles, only with his mouth not his eyes. He's a fastidious over the top neat freak, complaining about Jackie's untidiness, placing coasters under drink glasses and ranting about lit cigarettes left on veneer. He also has a sexual sadistic kink with his mistress Jackie. He's a pressure cooker slowly building as things in his little world go awry. He has startlingly violent outbursts. Like a safety valve he's letting off steam, but it's not helping, you know there will be the inevitable explosion as he rages on about the "little nob, lipstick salesman" , and how he's going to "kill him. put him in his car, and burn it!"
|Outwardly calm Meadows|
|Meadows sexual sadist|