Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Another Kay Kendall rarity ...

MANTRAP (MAN IN HIDING) - a nifty oh-so British thriller from 1953 captures post-war London nicely (as POOL OF LONDON did, see review at London label) with its upper-class Mayfair locations and nightclubs and the bombed-out sites around St Paul's Cathedral. It is an early Hammer film directed by Hammer maestro Terence Fisher (who went on to do the Draculas and Frankensteins and Mummys), but what is particularly fascinating about it for me is that 1953 cast - Paul Henreid is the lead, Keiron Moore the guy on the run - the main heroine is a rather uninteresting Lois Maxwell - who went on to be Miss Moneypenny in the Bonds, and, my favourite, Kay Kendall as Henreid's amour, just before she went on to acclaim in GENEVIEVE. Below her in the cast list is Anthony Forwood as the gin-tippling photographer, one of his few acting credits before giving it up to manage Dirk Bogarde's career and of course being his partner [Kay of course being a great chum of Bogarde's too], he having been previously married to Glynis Johns. Their son Gareth must have been named after his character in KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE, which was on show last week, as was the Richard Todd Disney ROBIN HOOD AND HIS MERRIE MEN where he was Will Scarlett. Young Bill Travers is here too.
Its an amusingly dated little thriller, before English crime movies got into the swing of the 50s, and another of Kay's early roles which have been fun to track down now, like FAST AND LOOSE, DANCE HALL, MAN IN THE SHADOWS, ABDULLAH THE GREAT, CURTAIN UP, IT STARTED IN PARADISE since her debut as a teenager in LONDON UP in '46. She soon got into her stride after this one before heading off to Hollywood and that marriage to Rex Harrison. The English 50s were her decade.

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