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(Diana Dors), a young clerk at a bookstore, catches a young man, Jeff
(Peter Reynolds), as he’s just about to steal a rare book. Now she could
have easily reported this to her boss, John Harman (George Brent), which
could have furthered her own reputation within the store … but she finds
Jeff weirdly attractive and instead tries to be smart and make him fall
for her – and before long, she has a date.
she doesn’t know of course is that Jeff is an ex-con who is just looking
for an opportunity to make some easy extra cash, and the naïve young
blonde seems just the right person to help him …
evening at work, Ruby accidently tears her blouse, and before you know it,
she and her boss, a married man, kiss. But Harman reacts a little bit
shocked to this kiss, and out of bad conscience he gives her money to buy
a new blouse, and more than enough money.
thinks she has acted smart, but Jeff sees only a missed opportunity and
persuades her to blackmail her boss. And Ruby tries, too, but Harman will
hear nothing of it because in his eyes, he has given her more than enough
already, considering it wasn’t even him who tore the blouse. So Jeff has
the great idea to have Ruby write a letter to Harman’s wife (Isabel
Dean), who is disabled, to tell her what happened – well, what happened
according to Jeff – but Harman’s wife gets so worked up by the letter
that she, when trying to burn it, accidently kills herself.
again, Ruby tries to get some money out of Harman, and he, driven by
grief, throws the money at her, much more than she asked for, just to get
rid of her. A short time later, Jeff kills Ruby to relieve her of her
money, then hides out at his girlfriend Vi’s (Eleanor Summerfield),
while he has Ruby’s body delivered to Harman in a box, which he opens
just before the police arrives to question him – and ultimately he has
just enough time to make an escape … a rather foolish idea, since that
makes him guilty of having murdered Ruby in the eyes of everybody –
everybody but his assistant Stella (Marguerite Chapman) that is, who has
long been in love with him and who now tries to help him solve the crime.
But even she can’t help it that they walk into a trap and Harman is
arrested eventually. Soon enough though, even the police realize that
something doesn’t add up and soon enough too, they get their hands on Vi
and make her tell them Jeff’s whereabouts.
though, Stella has already tracked down Jeff on her own – which was not
necessarily the best idea since Jeff seems to show little hesitation in
murdering her just like he murdered Ruby, and then burning her body.
thank god he couldn’t strangle Stella quite as easily as he strangled
Ruby, thank god the police arrives just in time to arrest him, and thank
god they also brought Harman, who dashes into the burning apartment to
save Stella from certain death just in time …
Fisher’s first film for Hammer is a competently made, suspenseful
and entertaining film noir, even if the film at the same time is not
terribly original or totally free of kitsch. Still, it makes good
entertainment for film noir fans, and Diana Dors as the naïve blonde
trying to be a femme fatale gives quite an interesting performance.