THE NAKED EDGE 1961
“ONLY THE MAN WHO WROTE PSYCHO COULD JOLT YOU LIKE THIS”
Director Michael Anderson ( The House of the Arrow 1953, The Dam Busters 1955, Chase a Crooked Shadow 1958, Conduct Unbecoming 1975, Logan’s Run 1976, Dominique is Dead 1979 ) creates a wavelength of dark tension and monochromatic extremes in this atmospheric post noir suspense yarn.
Adapted for the screen by Joseph Stefano’s (The Outer Limits 60s & Psycho 1960) based on the novel by Max Ehrlich (The Reincarnation of Peter Proud, The Glass Web, various dramatic television series)
The Naked Edge opens as the credits roll in a manner similar to Saul Bass, we are dropped into a gruesome stabbing in the darkly lit office building, where George Radcliffe (Gary Cooper)is the key witness.
Sadly, This would be Gary Coopers last film, after battling cancer. The Naked Edge was released a month after his death, but was not received well at the box office.
After Mr. Evan Wrack (the marvelous Peter Cushing) grills the only witness to murder in court Gary Cooper in his last role plays American George Radcliffe whose testimony helps bring a guilty verdict for murder and theft of his co-worker Donald Heath (Ray MacAnally) who then gets sent to prison.
There’s a question as to whether Heath actually committed the crime???
George’s wife Martha, the always enchanting Deborah Kerr begins to suspect her husband when various clues start pointing in his direction… Is she married to a cold blooded killer?
With a fantastic supporting cast, Peter Cushing, Michael Wilding, Eric Portman, Diane Cilento,Hermione Gingold, as Lilly Harris, Ronald Howard, Helen Cherry, Wilfrid Lawson and Diane Clare.
Dramatic musical score by William Alwyn (The Fallen Idol 1948, She Played with Fire 1957, I Accuse! 1958, A Night to Remember 1958, Burn Witch Burn 1962)
Most impressive is the offbeat cinematography by Erwin Hillier (The Mark of Cain 1947, The House of the Arrow 1953, Chase a Crooked Shadow 1958, and perhaps his best–the extraordinary Eye of the Devil 1966 again with Deborah Kerr, David Niven and Sharon Tate)
Hillier’s quirky angles and low lighting add an apprehensive atmosphere, and loads of key frames that are just beautifully shot as a refrain to the tension. Both Anderson & Hillier love to emphasize faces… it’s a touch that I love about their work together.
There are thousands of films in my collection… this has been one of them! Your ever lovin’ MonsterGirl