6.8/10
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The Third Alibi (1961)

A composer stuck in a middle-class marriage finds that his affair with his wife's half-sister has resulted in her pregnancy. When his wife refuses to give him a divorce he hatches a murder ... See full summary »

Director:

Montgomery Tully

Writers:

Maurice J. Wilson (screenplay), Montgomery Tully (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Laurence Payne ... Norman Martell
Patricia Dainton ... Helen Martell
Jane Griffiths Jane Griffiths ... Peggy Hill
Edward Underdown Edward Underdown ... Dr. Murdoch
John Arnatt ... Supt. Ross
Humphrey Lestocq Humphrey Lestocq ... Producer
Lucy Griffiths Lucy Griffiths ... Miss Potter
Olive Milbourne Olive Milbourne ... Mrs. Booth
Arthur Hewlett ... Marshall
Annette Kerr Annette Kerr ... Cinema cashier
Cleo Laine Cleo Laine ... Singer
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Storyline

A composer stuck in a middle-class marriage finds that his affair with his wife's half-sister has resulted in her pregnancy. When his wife refuses to give him a divorce he hatches a murder scheme that is too clever by half. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

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Plot Keywords:

independent film | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

September 1961 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Eternal Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Opening credits: All characters in this film are fictitious. Any resemblance to any person living or dead is coincidental. See more »

Connections

Edited into Kraft Mystery Theater: The Third Alibi (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

NOW AND THEN
Written by Don Banks and David Dearlove
Sung by Cleo Laine with Dudley Moore (piano) (uncredited)
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User Reviews

 
Forgotten but intriguing British thriller
18 June 2016 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

An interesting murder mystery that plays havoc with a conventional narrative, THE THIRD ALIBI is one of those intriguing, long-forgotten British thrillers that's well worth a watch for modern audiences. The plot involves the thorough scoundrel Laurence Payne and his efforts to do away with his lovely but ailing wife, played by the eternal Patricia Dainton, so that he can be with lover Jane Griffiths.

There's a neat preamble to the central murder as the characters go through rehearsals; the COLUMBO writers would be proud of the painstaking attention to detail here. In the second half, things become more confused when they don't go exactly to plan, and the film becomes both unpredictable and appealing. My only real complaint is with the moral code of the time which means that certain plot events are easily guessable and quite contrived.

The film was made by the short-lived Eternal Films, who seemed to routinely employ the workmanlike Montgomery Tully as director. They mostly put out low rent crime films although they also dabbled in horror (THE HOUSE IN MARSH ROAD) and comedies (THE CUCKOO PATROL). Dainton gives a fine, fragile performance in this movie, and Griffiths (TREAD SOFTLY STRANGER) does well as the third party involved. Watch out for cameos from singer Cleo Laine and the one and only Dudley Moore, the latter uncredited, but you can see him playing the piano in one scene.


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