Sunday, 2 October 2011

Heritage Homicides

Ira Lewin's taut novel A Kiss Before Dying got a technicolour adaptation in '56 and in the main follows the plot quite closely - man gets girl preggers, shoves her off a rooftop and moves onto find another rich girl to get his teeth into. The acting is fine and it's beautifully shot but the lurid colouring & ill judged soundtrack soften the tension all too often, combine that with the excision of the final murder and the books brutal denouement and it's fails to even generate a fraction of the intensity or darkness of Lewin's novel. Maybe it was a conscious effort to make proceedings a little more palatable to the audience of the day? dunno, anyways its still a good watch and no doubt better than the 1991 version.

Despite turning up almost half way through Green for Danger Alistair Sim shines brightly in this WW2 whodunit. A couple of murders in a small country hospital harried by German bombs prompt the appearance of Sim's sarcastic detective who ambles into town intent on poking at the pre existing tensions of the small group of suspects in an effort to uncover the truth. It's a thoroughly enjoyable, beautifully constructed, scripted and shot and featuring some excellent performances especially by Sim who perforates the seriousness of proceedings with his whimsical, light hearted portrayal of the no nonsense investigator.

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