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Nothing But The Night [DVD] 
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1973 British Horror film, in which three trustees of the Van Traylen fund have died during the last few months, their deaths resembling suicides. But, after a mysterious bus accident involving the final three trustees and 30 orphan children, police colonel Bingham (Christopher Lee) starts investigating and notices discrepancies that make him question whether it was an accident. One of the orphans is treated by a psychiatrist, and when that doctor ends up murdered, it becomes obvious that something sinister is going on, and not just coincidental deaths. The dead psychiatrist's supervisor, Sir Ashley (Peter Cushing), agrees to help the police with the hopes of finding the truth behind the mysterious happenings.
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Top Customer Reviews
The plot sees Lee's bullish Colonel Bingham, a big cheese in MI5, or Scotland Yard's Special Branch, or something, investigating a series of inexplicable deaths linked to an offshore Scottish orphanage with the help of his friend, eminent pathologist Sir Mark Ashley (Peter Cushing). After a weird incident on a coach filled with the orphanage's children leaves the driver dead and one young girl (Gwyneth Strong, later Cassandra in Only Fools and Horses) with what appears to be amnesia, things begin to take a more sinister turn...
Admittedly, it appears that this modest horror-thriller had production difficulties from the very start; originally set to be helmed by Don Sharp (who worked with Lee on the likes of 1965's Rasputin, the Mad Monk), the directing duties were eventually assigned to Taste the Blood of Dracula's Peter Sasdy, but the talented Hungarian's efforts here do not match those on his well-regarded 1969 Lee / Hammer vampire sequel. The shoot, which involved much location work, was hampered by the fact that the tight budget didn't run to a second unit, whilst the filming schedule was beset with bad weather.Read more ›
The Scottish setting and centrality of children to the plot are reminiscent of The Wicker Man though that's film splendid ending is not matched here. The location shooting is good and adds to the atmosphere, but as so often with these movies the ideas slightly outstretch the budget and execution.
Tha cast is impressive - Michael Gambon ,Fulton Mackay,Keith Barron and Diana Dors.
All in all one for fans of 70s British horror and the two leading stars of the genre.
The reason may be this: somehow this film doesn't make the grade. For the most part it plays out as a serious, modern whodunnit thriller, leading one to expect a satisfactory resolution to the mystery by the end of the film. As the film reaches its final half hour though, a suspicion grows that the plot is going to let the side down. And it does.
Silly hokum has an honoured place in British horror films, but it has to be used in the right film and in the right context. The ending offered here does not do justice to the performances and the production values on display. You don't watch a Bond film and expect to have the villain revealed to be a glove puppet, nor should you be expected to tolerate the similarly disappointing denouement foist upon you here. A missed opportunity.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Cushing, Lee and the brilliant Diana Dors. This film has always been an old favourite of mine.Published 5 months ago by Paul C.
A. Great film starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. A must for anyone who loves horror filmsPublished 8 months ago by ken
Great performances from Peter Cushing and Sir Christopher Lee, a good story.Published 9 months ago by Sir Christopher Frank Carandini lee is my best friend since 1958.
UK disc of a UK film, and it isn't even in the intended print ratio, like the American disc is? Avoid.Published 10 months ago by Suzy Geeson
How many people still own televisions with the old 4:3 ratio picture? Not too many I would guess. I also doubt that those who have not updated to a modern 16:9 ratio widescreen... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Movie Fan