Never Take Sweets from a Stranger
Never Take Candy from a Stranger
Anthony Hinds, Michael Carreras (executive) for Hammer
directed by Cyril Frankel
starring Gwen Watford, Patrick Allen, Felix Aylmer, Niall MacGinnis, Alison Leggatt, Bill Nagy, Michael Gwynn, Budd Knapp, MacDonald Parke, Estelle Brody, Helen Horton, Robert Arden, Gaylord Cavallaro, Vera Cook, Janina Faye, Frances Green, James Dyrenforth, Hazel Jennings, Cal McCord, Sheila Robins, Larry O'Connor, Shirley Butler, Michael Hammond, Patricia Marks, Peter Carlisle, Mark Baker, Sonia Fox, John Bloomfield, Charles Maunsell, Andre Dakar, Bill Sawyer, Jack LynnWilliam Abney], Tom Bu, Tom Busby
Screenplay by John Hunter, based on the play The Pony Cart by Roger Garis, music by Elisabeth Lutyens
Available on DVD !
To buy, click on link(s) below and help keep this site afloat
Always make sure of DVD-compatibility !!!
Peter (Patrick Allen) and Gwen (Sally) have just moved to a Canadian
lumber town where Peter is to be the high school's principal, when they
learn that their 9 year old daughter Jean (Janina Faye) and another girl,
Lucille (Frances Green) have been invited into the house of an old man who
promised them candy if they dance for him naked. The girls were much too
innocent to see anything wrong in that, but Peter and Gwen do, and they
report the whole incident to the police. To their surprise, the
authorities try to dissuade them from filing a report, as the old man was
Clarence Olderberry (Felix Aylmer), addled-in-his-brain patriarch of the
Olderberry family that pretty much owns the town, but they go through with
it. But now they've got the town against them, as everybody's dependent
from the Olderberrys (even if they know there's someone wrong with
Clarence), and Clarence's son Richard (Bill Nagy) even goes so far as to
threaten Peter and Sally. Plus the parents of Lucille just send her away
and refuse to have her questioned, even in court.
Court day turns into
living hell for Jean, as the defense counsel (Niall MacGinnis) tries every
trick in the book to break the girl - and succeeds. Eventually, Peter
withdraws the lawsuit for the sake of his daughter, and Clarence
Olderberry is thus proclaimed innocent. Beaten, Peter resigns from his job
with the intention to move, but now Richard Olderberry wants to keep
him,thinking a show of magnanimity will iron things out, but that only
shows to Peter that Richard is just a pompous fool who understands
nothing, refuses to think outside the box, and this only convinces him
it's high time to move.
Moving day, Jean and Lucille have a final stroll
through the woods when they bump into Clarence Olderberry - they run, but
he follows and eventually has them cornered ...
When Jean doesn't come
home that evening and her abandoned bicycle is found, Peter and the police
are quick to form a posse, especially when it's found out that Clarence
Olderberry has gone missing as well. They find Jean in the woods, totally
out of her mind but otherwise well - and they also find old man Olderberry
leaning over Lucille's corpse, as he has obviously killed her ...
Take Sweets from a Stranger is an elegantly filmed and compelling
movie on a for its time risqué subject that even today packs a punch
thanks to a nice build-up, strong performances, and a very tense finale -
but that's not to say the film is without its flaws, as it's by no means
free of clichées, sometimes drags a bit and hammers some of its points
home a little too hard. Still, well worth a look!