As a kickstart to spooky season, where we binge scary movies and chow down on discounted chocolates, the September edition of Movie Reviews for Teens will be about the British Thriller, “Cast a Dark Shadow,” from 1955.
If you enjoy film noir (a film genre noted by themes of pessimism, fatalism, and menace), England, or just love a thriller, this is for you. As a fan of both, I really enjoyed this movie. (Even though I struggled not to repeat their accents).
“Cast a Dark Shadow” opens with a married couple, Edward “Teddy” Bare and his senior wife Moni. They return to Moni’s manor, where she meets with her lawyer to rehash her will. Soon after, Edward stages her death in hopes of inheriting her money. But Edward is thwarted when he learns that his late wife left her money to her last of kin, her sister Dora, who lives in Jamaica.
Frustrated but not calling it quits, Edward hunts for another fated wife by going off on a seaside trip where he meets Freda, a recent widow who has a fortune to her name and is bent on keeping it to her name.
This movie was fantastic. I loved every 82 minutes of it. It was amazing, especially in the third act, I can’t tell you how many times I gasped at the ending. This film was beautifully directed by Lewis Gilbert. The blocking of the camera and the actors is something to write home to perfection. Especially as we watch dear Teddy Bare meticulously carry out Moni’s murder, seeing the shift from caring husband to cold-blooded killer just by the lighting change and the inquiry, “Are you cold?”
Speaking of quotations, the SCREENPLAY was amazing! There were many times when I paused the movie after the delivery of a well-written line. This movie is based on Janet Green’s play, “Murder Mistaken” (also called “Gently Does It”), and the screenplay by John Cresswell was a work of diligence and love and delivered effortlessly by the star-studded cast, Dirk Borgarde, Kay Walsh, and Margaret Lockwood.
I hope you enjoy this movie as much as I did. Feel free to find me at the La Plata library to discuss this movie!
Click the link below to log into Kanopy to watch here.