20 September 2014

Never Take Candy from a Stranger (1960)
81 min.
Directed by Cyril Frankel.
With Gwen Watford, Patrick Allen, Felix Aylmer, Niall MacGinnis, Alison Leggatt, Bill Nagy, MacDonald Parke, Michael Gwynn, Janina Faye, Frances Green.
This relevant thriller from Hammer Films tells the story of Peter Carter (Patrick Allen) and his family, who have moved to a small Canadian town where Peterís been hired as the new school principal.

But the Carters are unaware thereís a sexual predator on the loose in the community.

The elderly pervert Clarence Olderberry (Felix Aylmer) makes a play for Carterís young daughter Jean (Janina Faye) and her friend, by offering them sweets if they strip nude.

Carter takes legal action and demands justice. But even though rumors have long swirled about the wealthy and respected Olderberry, the odds are against the Carters.

The defendant is acquitted, and guess what happens next?

A good deal of Never Take Candy is either expository scenes or courtroom procedural.

But what starts off as a gripping drama soon builds to a bang-up conclusion...full of tragic and uncompromising results. Alymer plays his part with an understated, creepy demeanor.

And director Franken creates an effective atmosphere of damp dread, particularly in the scenes that take place in the perilous woods. His work here is confident and straightforward.

The end result is that Never Take Candy is an intelligent thriller that also serves as a cautionary tale - one which (sadly) still mirrors events in todayís news headlines.

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