Saturday, July 21, 2018

For Them That Trespass (1949) A Cavalcanti Noir

Another pleasant surprize!

I always admired Cavalcanti's I Became a Criminal (1947) They Made Me a Fugitive (original title) and did not realize that he made another Film Noir. There may be more. Cavalcanti was a Brazilian-born film director and producer who worked in  France, England, and Brazil. The story was based on the Ernest Raymond novel, the screenplay was by J. Lee Thompson who later directed U.K. Noirs (Murder Without Crime (1950), The Yellow Balloon (1953), Young and Willing, aka Weak and the Wicked (1954), Blonde Sinner, aka Yield to the Night (1956),  and Tiger Bay (1959)), and in the US he directed Cape Fear (1962). Additional dialog is credited to William Douglas-Home.

The Cinematography was by Derick Williams, and the Music was by Philip Green. The film stars Richard Todd (The Interrupted Journey (1949), Stage Fright (1950), Lightning Strikes Twice (1951), Intent to Kill (1958), Never Let Go (1960), The Longest Day (1962)) as Herbert Edward Logan, Patricia Plunkett as Rosie, Stephen Murray (Silent Dust (1949) as Christopher Drew, Michael Laurence as Jim Heal, Vida Hope as Olive Mockson, Rosalyn Boulter as Frankie Ketchen, George Hayes as the Artist.
Christopher Drew (Murray) lt. 
A fledgling writer Christopher Drew (Murray) gets a poem published in a London newspaper, and decides to start a novel, but soon discovers that his posh and sheltered life has left him deprived of  true hardscrabble life experiences upon which to base his characters.

Frankie (Rosalyn Boulter)
He figures that if he goes out and experiences himself, the darker side of life, he will be able to get over his writers block and write his manuscript. He heads out into the seedier sections of London.  Changing his identity to Kip Marlowe he begins to infiltrate the pubs and wine bars. He becomes attracted to a B-Girl named Frankie (Boulter). Frankie is a pretty active twist. She has a physically abusive boyfriend Jim Heal (Laurence) who is a fireman on the steam locomotive of a long distance train route.

Frankie's hidey-hole

Jim is away enough nights that Frankie has a pinch hitter named Herbert Logan (Todd) a professional burglar, go to bat while Jim is away. Herbert trusts Frankie enough to stash his wad of dough with her. She hides it behind a heater grate in a wall.

Kip and Frankie

After Frankie meets Kip she makes room on her personal scorecard to shoehorn him in between Jim and Herbert. Kip is soon enjoying Frankies charms on a regular basis.

Herbert Logan (Richard Todd)
Jim begins to hear rumours and is anxious to get back from work to see if he can catch Frankie in flagrante delicto, i.e. playing hide the sausage with another man. On this particular night Herbert and Frankie have a loud spat in the pub in front of witnesses. Herbert stops at Frankie's flat to apologize before heading off to Glasgow to do a burglary job there, with his regular partner in crime John Craigie 'Jocko' Glenn (James Hayter).

Jim Heal (Michael Laurence)
Soon after Herbert leaves, Kip arrives on schedule to slip the bone to Frankie for a few hours. Jim arrives just as Kip was about to leave Frankie's flat. Frankie hears him calling and quickly locks her door just in time. She runs to her window and flings it open so that Kip can escape, while Jim is still pounding on her door.

Jim breaks through her door breaking the lock, and finds the room empty, but quickly deduces correctly, that Frankie, who is disheveled and partially dressed, has just finish screwing. Jim runs to the window and just barely glimpses Kip hopping over a fence. Turning back to Frankie, Jim enraged strangles her to death.

Jim quickly leaves the flat and goes to shack up with Frankie's rival B-Girl, Olive Mockson (Vida Hope), who always had the hots for Jim. Jim turns back Olive's clock to establish an alibi. Kip/Christopher reads about Frankie's murder in the paper, The police suspect Herbert as the main suspect, because of the public row he and Frankie had at the pub. Herbert suspects she was killed by Kip Marlowe since she told Herbert that he was coming by later.

Olive Mockson (Vida Hope)

Kip/Christopher, decides to stay quiet and not reveal to the police that he was the last man to see Frankie alive and that it was Jim who was trying to break in while he was still with her. Christopher now completely doing away with his Kip persona, figures the police will figure out who the real murderer is.

Rosie (Patricia Plunkett) 

Herbert meanwhile getting back from Glasgow, reads in the paper that he is a wanted man. He skips back out of London going on the lamb. He meets and falls in love with Rosie (Patricia Plunkett). Herbert is soon caught, tried, and convicted, of murder. His alibi was that he was out that night pulling a burglary with his partner in crime 'Jocko' Glenn, the jury didn't believe his witness. His sentence is commuted to fifteen years however based on a letter written to the prosecutor from Christofer signing it Kip Marlowe. He says that he was with her rather than Herbert, and it gives enough details of Frankie and her flat to be believed.

Herbert spends the next fifteen years in prison all the while claiming to be innocent. Christopher writes his first novel along with many others, and becomes a very successful novelist and playwright. When Herbert is released he marries Rosie who has been loyal to him all these years. They have a son, but life is pretty tough because Herbert being an ex con cannot hold on to a job. Their son gets sick and they need money for a doctor.

I left a wad of money at Frankie's
Herbert confronts Christopher

Herbert remembers the swag he left at Frankie's and wonders if it's still there where she hid it. He cases the flat. Finds that a drunk artist now has the flat and decides to do one last burglary to see if the loot is still there. It is but so is a newspaper clipping with Christofer Drew's poem.

One night, it all goes Noirsville. Herbert is listening to a radio play and  he hears a character speaking words and phrases that only Frankie used to use. Herbert now knows whoever wrote the play must be Kip Marlowe.


A well acted enjoyable noir that sorely needs a restoration screen caps are from an online streaming site. It's about the quality of online prints of Detour. 7/10 as is could go higher with a decent print.

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