Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. United Kingdom, 1952. Angel Productions. Screenplay by Val Guest, based on the play Deadlock by Leslie Sands. Cinematography by Robert Krasker. Produced by Daniel M. Angel. Music by John Greenwood. Production Design by Cedric Dawe. Costume Design by Julie Harris. Film Editing by Gordon Hales.
Bette Davis co-stars with real-life husband Gary Merrill in this enjoyably noir-ish drama. She plays a famous mystery writer whose ex-convict husband’s bank robbery partner (Merrill) shows up at her countryside manor demanding to speak to her spouse. When she reveals that her husband is dead by her hand, he insists on staying on at the house and pretending to be married to her. This is complicated by other guests, Davis’s secretary and the secretary’s fiancée, with whom our heroine is having an affair. Things twist around to a most intense degree as Davis does her best to survive a suspenseful game of strategy and wit. Great atmosphere and a delicious performance from the Queen of (sometimes campy) drama.