THE FOUR SIDED TRIANGLE is a remarkable little black and white film that scores on a number of levels. The sci-fi angle about a machine that can duplicate matter is strongly reminiscent of THE FLY although this is 5 years earlier. The lab scenes involving the machine are imaginatively handled for the time and show the editing prowess of director Terence Fisher who in just a few short years would launch Hammer Horror with CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN and DRACULA. On the surface this is standard sci-fi stuff similar to a TWILIGHT ZONE or an OUTER LIMITS episode but what really sets it apart is the central story of a love triangle with a decidedly novel twist.
Bill, Robin, and Lena are three children from a small village who grow up together. They are the best of friends but when Lena goes to America, the two friends go to college and work on their dream of creating a machine that can make a perfect copy of anything placed in it. A few years later Lena returns and with both men in love with her, she chooses Robin over Bill. Bill then decides to duplicate her in his machine so there will be two Lenas, one for each of them. Unfortunately the duplicate (no clones back then) has the same memories and the same feelings as the original and this leads to a must unusual ending.
The film unfolds in a leisurely way with a narrator/character similar to the one in OUR TOWN. The acting of the three principals especially Barbara Payton in the double role, is quite accomplished. Payton who was known for her sexpot roles and troubled life off screen (she died at only 39), gives the performance of her career and reminds us of how underused she was by American filmmakers. Despite the sci-fi trappings THE FOUR SIDED TRIANGLE, as the title implies, is essentially a love story which packs a surprising emotional punch. Just don't expect Hammer Horror and remember, the film is in black and white.