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Limping Man [DVD] [1953] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]


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Region 1 encoding. (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
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Product details

  • Actors: Lloyd Bridges
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: NR (Not Rated) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Alpha Video
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Mar 2006
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E8N9GA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 246,494 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Bridges,Lloyd ~ Limping Man (1953)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 29 May 2008
Format: DVD
This turkey is reasonably well roasted, and even features some side dishes that are interesting to learn more about. The ending of The Limping Man, however, is so arbitrary and dishonest it makes clear how little regard for the audience, or for the integrity of their own movie, the producers must have had.

World War II vet Frank Pryor (Lloyd Bridges) returns to London from America after six years to look up an old flame, Pauline French (Moira Lister), now a successful actress. As he and the other passengers deplane and walk across to the terminal, Frank pauses for a moment and asks the man beside him for a light. There's a gunshot and the man crumples to the ground, shot by a marksman with a high-powered rifle, an assassin with a limp. The dead man was named Kendall Brown. With Inspector Braddock (Alan Wheatley) and Detective Cameron (Leslie Phillips) on the case, it's clear that Pryor is as mystified as everyone else. After Pryor leaves the police to find Pauline, Wheatley and Cameron visit Brown's lodgings...and find a photo of a good-looking young woman. Yes, the photo is of Pauline French. It's not long before Frank Pryor is up to his neck in murderous intrigue. The mix includes blackmail, smuggling, magic acts, gritty Thames-side docks, backstage theater doings, a pouting French singer and, Frank discovers, some indiscretions in Pauline's past. The plot, under Cy Endfield's direction, keeps moving briskly ahead. The photography is nifty, with lots of nighttime eeriness, shadowy theater cellars and fear-filled eyes highlighted in the gloom.

But the movie reeks of class-conscious accents and acting.
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By UK Filmbuff TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 10 Jun 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Aside from the fact that the overall quality of the recording (obviously the original, not the reproduction), is extremely poor, the actual story itself left me feeling decidedly "short changed".

The picture quality was very bad and, as the film progressed, it worsened, so did the soundtrack. I think it was shot during a fog, with a lot of people in the background making funny noises! I've seen better quality from films made in the early 1940s!

My English teacher, even when I was very young, told the class never to write a story that ended up "When I awoke, it was all a dream". However, whoever wrote the script for this film, obviously didn't have the same English lessons as I had, as this is precisely what happened!

There were a few times, when I was "held", however, the acting appeared "wooden" and even the great Leslie Phillips couldn't bring character to the blundering police detective that he portrayed. I have much respect and admiration for Leslie, as he has always been a fine and versatile actor. However, this part just wasn't right!

Hence, there wasn't really a story at all! A man (Lloyd Bridges) falls asleep on an aeroplane, on the way to Britain, to meet his girlfriend. He dreams that a fellow passenger is shot dead, while on the tarmac. His girlfriend isn't waiting to meet him, but it transpires, by an amazing set of coincidences, that she was in love with the dead man, who, himself, was a criminal. It then transpires that he faked his own death and someone else was murdered in his place. The girlfriend was being blackmailed for letters she was supposed to have written to him and Lloyd Bridges manages to blunder into the police investigation and make a complete fool of himself.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Intriguing British noir, derailed somewhat at the end 9 Feb 2010
By Muzzlehatch - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Though the credits show "directed by Charles De la Tour", that's just a pseudondym for the blacklisted Cy Endfield, who after a fascinating if somewhat inconsistent early career was pushed into exile in Europe, from which he never returned. This is his first British film, and it carries over his fascination with magic, his pessimistic noir sensibility, and his ability to find odd bits of business with minor characters that really stand out.

Lloyd Bridges plays Frank Prior, an American returning to London after the war and several years to reconnect with an old flame, actress Pauline French (Moira Lister). While on the airport tarmac he witnesses the man standing right next to him get shot and killed by a sniper from long distance. The man carries no identification and is presumed to be "Kendal Brown" by Scotland Yard, which quickly takes over the case; the sniper is unknown. Prior is questioned a bit and let go, but quickly turns out to be the center of a mystery involving his ex-girlfriend, the widow of "Brown" (Hélène Cordet), blackmail and smuggling.

This is a very well-put-together and exciting Brit-noir, really excellent up until the last couple of reels which fall into place a little too easily - and in particular the last couple of minutes which turn everything around in the manner of a few other "lighter" noirs - but not nearly as successfully as, say, WOMAN IN THE WINDOW manages. Along the way there are lots of inventive touches though which keep the bad taste of the resolution from stinging too much: the sardonic, bitchy, yet entirely silent landlady's daughter (19-year-old Jean Marsh in her first role) who looks on the young Scotland Yard detective with amusement as he can't keep his eyes off her; the kids watching a forbidden TV murder mystery in secret while their parents watch it in another room - and while a couple fleeing the cops pass by; the magic trick performance punctuated by a cabaret song.

An odd mixed bag of a film, more fascinating than really good, but like most of Endfield's work (he's only really well known for the 1964 ZULU) certainly deserving of a little more respect. There are currently only mediocre public domain copies in circulation; this Alpha Video copy isn't any worse than most, but the best way to obtain this is probably to get the VCI edition The Scar/The Limping Man - for about the same price you get this film, the truly great THE SCAR, and a terrific 1950s noirish TV program.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A tolerable noir, but with plummy aristo accents and a cheat of an ending 29 May 2008
By C. O. DeRiemer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This goose is reasonably well roasted, and even features some side dishes that are interesting to learn more about. The ending of The Limping Man, however, is so arbitrary and dishonest it makes clear how little regard for the audience, or for the integrity of their own movie, the producers must have had.

World War II vet Frank Pryor (Lloyd Bridges) returns to London from America after six years to look up an old flame, Pauline French (Moira Lister), now a successful actress. As he and the other passengers deplane and walk across to the terminal, Frank pauses for a moment and asks the man beside him for a light. There's a gunshot and the man crumples to the ground, shot by a marksman with a high-powered rifle, an assassin with a limp. The dead man was named Kendall Brown. With Inspector Braddock (Alan Wheatley) and Detective Cameron (Leslie Phillips) on the case, it's clear that Pryor is as mystified as everyone else. After Pryor leaves the police to find Pauline, Wheatley and Cameron visit Brown's lodgings...and find a photo of a good-looking young woman. Yes, the photo is of Pauline French. It's not long before Frank Pryor is up to his neck in murderous intrigue. The mix includes blackmail, smuggling, magic acts, gritty Thames-side docks, backstage theater doings, a pouting French singer and, Frank discovers, some indiscretions in Pauline's past. The plot, under Cy Endfield's direction, keeps moving briskly ahead. The photography is nifty, with lots of nighttime eeriness, shadowy theater cellars and fear-filled eyes highlighted in the gloom.

But the movie reeks of class-conscious accents and acting. Whole generations of British actors, if they were to have a hope of succeeding as lead players, had to master that plummy, nasal, upper-class diction that was supposed to be the hallmark of an English gentleman or lady. When sound came to the movies, that social stratification based on how one spoke was enforced with a vengeance. Things began to change for lead players only when Michael Caine hit the big-time in Britain and kept his Cockney accent. So here's Leslie Phillips, who grew to be a fine farceur, slim, young and in a supporting role as Cameron. He was raised in poverty with a Cockney accent. His mother was determined that he'd have a chance at a better life so she saw that he had elocution lessons. Phillips wound up with one of the ripest upper-class accents you can imagine, and in a long career he has used it to great, leering effect. His Cameron is very keen on the female figure, a characteristic Phillips, now in his eighties and still acting, has in real life. Phillips is a character and great fun to watch. One of his best roles is as Lord Flamborough in 1994's Love on a Branch Line. It's one of those British television productions that you'll either be delighted by or puzzled with. Moira Lister's Pauline French (Lister was born and raised in South Africa) sounds like the carefully educated daughter of the English landed aristocracy, the kind of woman who schedules her love life with her husband as meticulously as she schedules her social engagements with her equals, and with considerably less frequency. Lister was a successful actress on the stage as well as in the movies. She sounds a little like Joan Greenwood. She gives such an overly bred, mannered performance it seems unlikely she'd ever be attracted to an American ex-GI like Lloyd Bridge's Frank Pryor. However, one of the pleasures of the movie is that Frank flies into London on a Lockheed Constellation. We see several shots of this most graceful of airplanes flying and on the ground.

The ending of The Limping Man is a complete cheat. While some of us might enjoy at least some of this movie's 76 minutes, and I'm one of them, its conclusion left me feeling that I'd just been made a fool of.

Cy Endfield, who directed the movie, did so under the name of Charles De la Tour, a man he paid to front for him. Endfield was blackballed in Hollywood during the witch-hunts. He could no longer get directing jobs so he left for Britain with his family. The only way his early British movies could be released in America was by hiding his name. He stayed in Britain and went on to direct using his real name Zulu, Mysterious Island, Sands of the Kalahari and others.

This is a public domain film. My version is not in very good shape.
Reminiscent Of 'The Mask Of Dimitrios' 6 Mar 2012
By MadMacs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Fun and entertaining mystery starring a young Lloyd Bridges and Moira Lister in an atypical non-bitch role.

Lloyd plays Frank Prior, veteran of the allied invasion, returning to England six years after the end of the war to rekindle his love affair with stage actress Pauline French, Lister's character. However, things take a turn toward the bizarre as a fellow passenger on his flight is gunned down by an assassin's bullet. And things only get worse as Frank sadly realizes that his love is somehow connected to increasingly strange happenings and bizarre incidents.

Was caught off guard with the ending. While my fellow reviewers see it as a "cheat", I'm not sure what they weren't given or what wasn't delivered - a twist is a twist. Filmmaker's choice as far as I can tell. Felt it was a surprising, if unexplained, event some 40 years before 'The Crying Game' reintroduced the 'wow-did-not-see-that-coming' effect.

I hear modernism in that complaint. One shouldn't view a film from the present, and therefore, jaded perspective. I really believe you have to learn to appreciate a movie as it was intended and presented during time of its release - in this case - 1953. There weren't too many of these kinds of films and this type of 'gotcha' finale was quite fresh back then.

My biggest issue focuses on the incredibly poor choice of crows-feet laden Helene Cordet as the stage singer/blackmailer. Three reasons:

- One, she's truly unappealing. I had a very difficult time whenever the scene called for her to vamp it up. Yikes. Three bags of ugly served on a silver platter - is still three bags of ugly.

- Two, the unnecessary and completely wasted time the film spent with her "singing" - a screeching and cawed mockery of vocalization that prompted using the mute button as an absolute necessity.

- Three, I get the sense that co-directors Cy Endfield and Charles De la Tour traded favors for screen time. Just an opinion. <hands raised in defense>

Adding to my general sense of 'WhaThe?' was even more time spent wasted on the various Vaudevillian acts - what exactly was the point to all that? Certainly didn't lend itself to any character quality or reveal any substantive plot devices. Bizarre.

Finally: I've had very bad experiences with Alpha Video products, but decided on commenting directly via the film's individual listing, as opposed to the version I screened via Platinum Disc Corporation's 'Mystery Classics' bundled dvd. Their version of this public-domain flick was decent and the audio solid - likely a better choice if you decide to purchase a copy. My only complaint in that regard was the use of the Platinum logo briefly added to the film, presumably to identify "their print" in case of product theft. Technically, the bundle is listed under the Echo Bridge label, but that's not what appears on screen.
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