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Pink String and Sealing Wax Movie Review

withers mervyn hamer robert

Googie Withers came within an eyelash of giving Britain's top female star (Margaret Lockwood, with whom she'd appeared in 1938's The Lady Vanishes) a run for her money at the boxoffice. This examination of a Victorian murderess (set in Brighton, circa 1880) is a fine vehicle for Withers, who clearly knows the secret that any great screen villain knows, namely that her character can do no wrong. Gordon Jackson is the youth who is seduced into her plans for homicide and Mervyn Johns does an excellent job as a father who nearly loses his family because of his rigid views on right and wrong. John Carol is as much of a dirty rat as you'll ever see in this sort of melodrama, and Mary Merrall, Jean Ireland, and Sally Ann Howes are appealing as the mother and daughters who learn how to manipulate an impossible family situation to their advantage. The minor characters are effective too, especially Catherine Lacey as Miss Porter, a tipsy but genteel barfly. The title refers to a catch phrase of the era and has nothing to do with the story. Based on the play by Roland Pertwee.

1945 89m/B GB Mervyn Johns, Mary Merrall, Gordon Jackson, Googie Withers, Sally Ann Howes, Catherine Lacey, Garry Marsh, Frederick Piper, Don Stannard, Valentine Dyall; D: Robert Hamer; W: Robert Hamer; C: Richard S. Pavey. VHS

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