'Torment: Juno Selects'
(Dermot Walsh, Rona Anderson, John Bentley, Dilys Laye, et al / DVD / NR / (1950) 2019 / MVD Visual)
Overview: A story of two brothers, both writers of crime novels, one a fine, upstanding gentleman and the other a moody, neurotic, psychopath.
The other is determined to create a 'faked' version of a perfect crime he intends to commit when an ex-convict visits them. They are both in love with their shared-stenographer-secretary.
DVD Verdict: 'Torment' is quite an unusually plotted little murder mystery film made by the little-known Advance Productions who only made three films.
I actually first saw it on the Talking Pictures TV channel under the title 'Paper Gallows' and although the running time is a scant 77 minutes, it never really feels slow moving. Well, ok, maybe the first half is a tad bit slow to build, but the second half is a doozy.
The storyline is unusual in teaming up two British B-movie stars, John Bentley and Dermot Walsh, as brothers who are both mystery writers.
They should have added Paul Carpenter as the long-lost Canadian brother while they were! Anyway, Bentley is his usual stock heroic figure, warm, likable, and humorous, while Walsh is more sinister, a man given over to deep brooding and nefarious plots.
Much of the plot hinges around a witnessed murder and the subsequent disappearance of the corpse, which was a typical plot development in this genre of film-making.
Michael Martin Harvey ('The Case of Charles Peace') has a nice little role as the scoundrel of the piece, Curley Wilson), so too Dilys Laye as Violet Crier.
Anyway, things only really pick up here for the climax, which is admittedly well mounted, although it comes too late to save what has been a rather murky and unbelievable thriller.
Lead actress Rona Anderson was known for her role in 'Scrooge' and had a lengthy career in film and TV, while director John Guillermin is, of course, well known for going on to direct Hollywood classics like 'The Towering Inferno' and such. [LD] This is a Full Screen Presentation (4:3) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.