A Noir Film

Amos Lassen

Albert Pascoe (Donald Houston) is a Cornish fisherman who is is approached by a strange woman Anna (Delphi Lawrence) and two men to smuggle them across the English channel. Pascoe is unaware that they are criminals having stolen top secret documents and killing a man in the process. During their voyage, Pascoe overhears his suspicious guests talking about the murder and he turns the boat back towards Cornwall, but fixes the compass to give the impression to the passengers that they are still on course for the French coast. However, Pascoe learns his life is now in danger and he, along with the. Viewers wonder if he will  make it back alive before they discover their true destination? This is a classic noir thriller with an excellent supporting cast.

The bulk of the narrative falls on wily poacher Donald Houston as he is enlisted by enemy agents Anton Diffring and Alan Cuthbertson and Delphi Lawrence) to smuggle them across to Europe before they’re arrested for murder – they shot a security guard in the opening scene as they stole secrets from an office. We have a brutal fight at the climax between Houston and the baddies. The final 30 minutes of the film make the viewing experience worthwhile. Unfortunately a really sappy romantic interest weighs down the film like an anchor.

This is a reasonably low budget film and the story and portrayals are sound. Yes, it’s not a blockbuster, but it is more enjoyable, believable, and entertaining than many of other films of this kind. It gives a good balance of humor and mild suspense, with a good plot and fine actors.



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