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The Intimate Stranger Movie Review

losey blacklisted koch basehart

Blacklisted director Joseph Losey (1909–84) seemed to dodge the issue of blacklisting when he made The Intimate Stranger in the relative safety of Britain in 1956. In it, Reggie Wilson, the filmmaker played by Richard Basehart (1914–84), is blacklisted by a spiteful colleague for something he didn't do. Although the guilty culprit is eventually discovered, Basehart's character finally arrives at the astonishing realization that it was right for him to be blacklisted, because he's sure he did other bad things for which he was never punished! The running time below is the original length of The Intimate Stranger. To attract an American distributor, this ethically murky crime drama was re-edited and oddly retitled Finger of Guilt. Perhaps the uncut British film made more sense, but the version that crops up on late night television is missing 24 minutes. Even the truncated movie is an attention grabber and the expert cast does their best with the script, based on Howard Koch's novel, Pay the Piper. Now that Losey's and Koch's contributions have been officially acknowledged, I hope the complete movie will be made available for critical reappraisal. AKA: Finger of Guilt.

1956 95m/B GB Richard Basehart, Mary Murphy, Constance Cummings, Roger Livesey, Mervyn Johns, Faith Brooks, Vernon Greeves, Andre Mikhelson, Basil Dignam, David Lodge, Grace Denbigh-Russell; D: Joseph Losey; W: Howard Koch; C: Gerald Gibbs; M: Trevor Duncan.

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