Saturday, March 21, 2020
Candidate for Murder (1962)
Donald Edwards (Michael Gough) has a beautiful and glamorous wife but Helene Edwards (Erika Remberg) is a film star and she’s off to Hollywood to make a movie. And she’s announced that she thinks they should have a trial separation. She also has a friend, a handsome barrister named Robert Vaughan (John Justin). Helene insists that there’s nothing in it although it’s pretty obvious that there’s quite a bit in it.
Donald was always a jealous husband and now he’s become just a little unhinged by all this. In fact he’s hired a hitman to resolve his marital difficulties for him.
Of course things don’t go off quite as expected. In fact they don’t go off as anybody expected.
The basic setup is as old as the hills but this one adds some genuinely neat and original twists (and there are quite a few of those twists). It even has some interesting character stuff.
And there’s some location shooting and even some action.
Erika Remberg does well as Helene, making her neither too sympathetic nor too unsympathetic. She probably has done her best to be a good wife but Donald Edwards would obviously be a difficult man to be married to.
Writer Lukas Heller had a much more illustrious career, having scripted a varied assortment of odd but interesting movies (The Killing of Sister George, the delightful tongue-in-cheek spy flick Hot Enough for June, The Dirty Dozen and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?). His screenplay for Candidate for Murder is extremely clever.
The black-and-white cinematography is very good and I liked the Edwards house - one of those split-level houses so popular in the early 60s.
This film is part of Network’s Edgar Wallace Mysteries Volume Three DVD boxed set. As usual the anamorphic transfer (all the Merton Park Edgar Wallace films were shot widescreen) is excellent.
Candidate for Murder is for my money one of the better entries in what is on the whole a pretty solid cycle of mystery thrillers. Highly recommended.