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Don't expect too much
on 9 December 2012
Tread Softly Stranger sounds a hell of a lot more interesting than it actually is. The story of bad boy Johnny (a young and handsome George Baker, 30 years before he became the much-loved Inspector Wexford), his weak brother Dave (Terence Morgan), who both fall for Calico (a vamping-it-up Diana Dors) before becoming embroiled in a bungled wages snatch, is very much of its time.
The lead characters are all fairly two-dimensional, and I didn't find any of the performances particularly engaging or interesting. The fictional Yorkshire town of Rawborough is well realised, although the limited budget meant that the numerous scenes on the roof of the shared boarding house looked staged and overly theatrical. The story is rather far-fetched, and I struggled to believe the motivations of the characters. I found both Bakers' and Dors' performances to be fairly flat, but I guess neither actor was known for the broad range and challenging characterisations. The final twist in the story is marred by Bakers' forced final scene.
This DVD release is of high quality, with a crisp picture that shows off the rather well executed photography to good effect; I'd say it's worth the Amazon price. It's an undemanding way to spend an hour and a half, but will probably appeal more to fans of 1950s and 60s British film thrillers, but don't expect too much.
© Koplowitz 2012