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The Man in Black (1949)

A yogi seemingly dies while simulating death and his evil second wife, and her daughter, try to force his daughter into insanity for control of his estate.

Director:

Francis Searle

Writers:

John Dickson Carr (radio series Appointment with Fear), John Gilling (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Betty Ann Davies ... Bertha Clavering
Sheila Burrell ... Janice
Sidney James ... Henry Clavering / Hodson
Anthony Forwood ... Victor Harrington
Hazel Penwarden Hazel Penwarden ... Joan Clavering
Valentine Dyall ... The Man in Black - Story-Teller
Courtney Hope Courtney Hope ... Mrs. Carter
Mollie Palmer Mollie Palmer ... Elsie
Laurence Baskcomb Laurence Baskcomb ... Sandford
Gerald Case Gerald Case ... Doctor
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Storyline

Henry Clavering suspects his second wife Bertha is trying to drive his daughter (by his first marriage) insane, to stop her inheriting his money. He decides to use his yoga skills to pretend to be dead, and thereby expose her villainy. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Thriller

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 1950 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hammer Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (United Programmes Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hazel Penwarden receives an "introducing" credit. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Tale of Murder(s)
6 August 2019 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Sid James --in a serious role -- is a rich man who practices yoga. Before a demonstration in which he simulates being dead, he warns that anyone who speaks could kill him dead. His second wife, Betty Ann Davies, makes sure of that. She is disappointed when a quarter of a million pounds is left to his daughter from his first wife, Hazel Penwarden. There's good news, though. If she goes mad before her 21st birthday, the bequest is cut to a fifth of that, Betty Ann picks it up and gets management of that. So Miss Davies and her daughter from a previous marriage, Sheila Burrell, plot to gaslight her, with the help of money-hungry Anthony Forwood.

Nice people. Miss Penwarden seems quite wacky, alternating terror with cheerfulness as people keep dying, and she has conversations with them after they become corpses. I won't say the outcome is a surprise, but it's done with such roguish black humor, that I enjoyed it.

It's based on Valentine Dyall's hit BBC radio show of the same name, and Mr. Dyall is on hand to introduce us to the people involved. At the time, Hammer Pictures, under the "Exclusive Films" distribution marque, offered several movies based on currently popular radio shows, including DICK BARTON, DETECTIVE, MEET SIMON CHERRY, and THE ADVENTURES OF P.C. 49. None lasted more than a couple of movies.


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