HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Honeydew
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
   
 
Newest Articles
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
   
 
  Man in the Back Seat, The I am the passenger/And I ride and I ride
Year: 1961
Director: Vernon Sewell
Stars: Derren Nesbitt, Keith Faulkner, Carol White, Harry Locke, Anthony Bate
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  0 Votes
Review: This tightly-constructed, well-paced thriller is a highly-polished little gem. Running less than an hour, and featuring only three main characters, it tells an excellent story that really grips the viewer from start to finish. It could equally be a very black comedy on the lines of Hitchcock's The Trouble With Harry, given that most of the plot revolves around trying – and failing – to get rid of an inconvenient body.

Two ambitious but inept young thugs, Tony (Derren Nesbitt) and Frank (Keith Faulkner) plan to rob a greyhound track bookmaker, Joe Carter (Harry Locke), of his day's takings. All they have to do is wait for him to leave the stadium, whack him over the head, grab his bag and drive off. Unfortunately, Carter takes the precaution of handcuffing the bag to his wrist. So they have to take the unconscious Carter along until they can open the bag, and Carter has left the key to the bag at the stadium.

This is only the beginning of an increasingly nightmarish journey, driving around London by night, trying to get the money out of the bag and, more important, dump Carter's body. Tony fancies himself the brains of the team (Frank is easily-led and less cold-blooded) but he is also viciously violent. The beating he gives Carter means the man is dying throughout the film, and in 1961 this meant capital punishment at the end of a rope.

The pair are thwarted at every turn: a tyre blows, they run out of petrol, inconvenient policemen appear round corners, when they try to park they are moved on. Frank's wife Jean (Carol White) is less than helpful, exasperated by the way her husband always falls in with Tony's plans, and completely distrustful of Tony himself (quite rightly, as he is also an accomplished pathological liar).

I don't want to reveal more of the plot because this is a film that should be seen fresh for the first time. Vernon Sewell's direction of this minor film is masterly in the way it builds suspense right up to literally the last minute. The increasing sense of claustrophobia, sharing the car with a dying man, and helplessness, as each way forward becomes a dead-end, is also reminiscent of Hitchcock's toying with viewers' emotions as they identify with the characters' predicament.

The performances of the three leads are excellent. Derren Nesbitt is outstanding as Tony, constantly plotting but thwarted by his inability to plan more than one move ahead. He is a dangerous man simply because he thinks he is much cleverer than he really is. His superficial charm is clearly just that – superficial. Keith Faulkner as Frank is equally good (for some reason he disappears from record a couple of years later), suggesting the character's good-natured weakness, while Carol White captures Jean's frustration with her man (who has a good job and has no reason to resort to crime) with energy and passion. (Harry Locke, as Carter, only has a few lines but is an inescapable presence throughout the film when he is unconscious, a plum role for an actor.)

If you can find this on DVD, or cable TV, try and see it. It is an object lesson in how to do a lot with minimal resources, developing fully rounded characters and keeping audiences audiences hooked from the first scene until the words “The End” appear on the screen.
Reviewer: Enoch Sneed

 

This review has been viewed 2458 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: