Megs Jenkins

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Green For Danger Review


Excellent
You know those old-time British murder mysteries that take place in a manor on a dark and stormy night? One of the aristocrat guests at the manor gets murdered, or his wife does. Upstairs and downstairs, everyone's a suspect, prompting the appearance of an unflappable Scotland Yard inspector who proceeds to snoop out the manor's residents and their goings-on. With wry wit and efficient tact, the inspector nails the perpetrator, evincing much shock and relief from the manor's residents, after which he goes merrily on his way. Now, replace the manor with a rural hospital, its resident aristocrats and staff with a hospital's doctors and nurses, the stormy weather with skies darkened by Nazi bombers, and you've got Green for Danger.

Best known for his screenplay (co-written with Frank Launder) for The Lady Vanishes, one of Hitchcock's '30s era gems, writer Sidney Gilliat also enjoyed a 30-year directing career beginning in the early '40s. Green for Danger is probably Gilliat's best known and regarded effort, and, in its lightness of touch, it feels of a piece with the aforementioned Hitchcock thriller. But, while Hitchcock never cared for whodunits, Gilliat (along with co-writer Claude Guerney) fashioned a nifty and entertaining one in Green for Danger, based on Christianna Brand's novel and using the WWII-besieged English countryside as his backdrop. The physical and psychological toll of the war informs the jaded mood of Danger's hospital staff, the interrelationships among the doctors and nurses, and even their medical ethics.

Continue reading: Green For Danger Review

The Innocents Review


Good
Based on Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, this creepy but ultimately perplexing thriller was one of the first films designed to scare you without showing, say, severed limbs and nonstop gore. The Innocents features a wide-eyed Deborah Kerr as a governess sent to a stately manor where she will care for two children. When they start communicating with ghosts, demons, dead people, the devil -- what they are, we'll never find it -- the poor governess comes unhinged. Not altogether frightening, but it has a few creep-out moments that mostly redeem its totally ambiguous ending.
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