Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
Canada/USA, 1959. Julian Roffman Productions. Screenplay by Anne Howard Bailey, Ben Kerner, Elwood Ullman, Des Hardman. Cinematography by Eugen Schufftan. Produced by Julian Roffman. Music by Harry Freedman. Production Design by David R. Ballou. Film Editing by Robert Johnson.
Vintage Canadian classic that features Peter Falk in his first lead role. He and a group of miscreants enjoy the nightlife in Toronto’s seedy, beatnik underbelly, partying into the wee small hours with booze and music, but Falk wants more. His desire for violence convinces his friends to join him in murdering people randomly, and he finds the perfect victim when a telegram boy shows up at his party (apparently they deliver at all hours) and is invited in to partake of the festivities. The next day, the boy’s older brother discovers that his sibling was murdered, fed broken glass in a hamburger, and immediately sets out to discover who did it. It’s a smarmy little story, a classic example of morality exploitation of its time, but the moody photography is hypnotic and the performances are all up to snuff. Falk has a great time leaving his soul at the door, while Barbara Lord is excellent as his main gal who ends up developing a conscience.