The Law of Contact

The Frightened Man (March 1, 1952)

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THe Frightened Man
 

Released on March 1, 1952: The hard-working father of a fellow kicked out of Oxford watches as his son spirals into a life of crime.

Produced by Robert S. Baker and Monty Berman

Directed by John Gilling

The Actors: Dermot Walsh (Julius Rosselli), Barbara Murray (Amanda), Charles Victor (Mr. Rosselli), John Blythe (Maxie Brown), Michael Ward (Cornelius Hart, shop assistant), Thora Hird (Vera, the Rosselli housekeeper), John Horsley (Harry Armstrong), Annette D. Simmonds (Marcella), Martin Benson (Alec Stone), Ballard Berkeley (Scotland Yard Inspector Bligh), Peter Bayliss (Inspector Bilton), Thomas Gallagher (Matthews), Reginald Dyson (Doctor Luigi), Armand Guinle (Mr. Dent), Tony Spear (airline booking agent)

 
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Scotland Yard and the Jewel Thief

Papa was a preacher, and after five daughters and a brutally cold winter that demanded much cuddling, the next September brought me into the world. I was always told that I was Dad’s favorite, and I took my share of ribbing from my sisters about how they got punished for things that I could get away with because I was the apple of my Dad’s eye. I can only remember one time that he ever punished me, and on that occasion he gave me a passage of scripture and instructed me to sit in my bedroom with the door closed and read the passage over and over again and think about it. For the leniency that he showed me when I needed punished, mom made up for it quite well. It seems that I was always encouraged to desire a toy that consisted of a wooden paddle with a rubber band attached to it, and a small rubber ball attached to the other end of the rubber band. After trying to bounce the ball in the air for a couple of hours the rubber band always broke and the toy was useless to me . . . . But mom would claim the wooden paddle and use it on me often. She had one on top of the kitchen refrigerator and one on the top of the piano, and I’m sure a couple more stashed around the house that would always be within her reach when needed. As a youngster I learned to obey the wishes of my parents because of my fear of the paddle, but when I was grown up I obeyed their every wish because of my love and respect for them . . . I reached an age when fear was no longer a motive for changing my conduct. After watching the first minutes of this jewel thief crime drama I figured that my childhood obedience resulting from fear of the paddle morphing into obedience because of love and respect would be a good way to illustrate what went wrong with the antique shop owner’s son. Leading man Dermot Walsh, complete with his distinctive dash of white among his thick dark hair has just been kicked out of Oxford, and kindly father Rosselli, played by Charles Victor, is crushed because the son who means everything to him gives him nothing but scorn and hatred. . . The son never grew to love the father that has sacrificed everything for his son. I figured that the son would enter the crime world and maybe get deep enough in crime to come to his senses and go straight . . . . There could be one other movie outcome that would have the son dive into the criminal world so deeply that he would never go straight, but suffer the consequences of his crimes . . . But alas, there is a third story line that might happen . . . One that I never considered . . . . A twisted web of crime and the law that surprised me greatly as it unfolded . . . . I think it might surprise you also . . . Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Annette D. Simmonds
Annette D. Simmonds
Martin Benson and Annette D. Simmonds
Martin Benson and Annette D. Simmonds
Annette D. Simmonds
Annette D. Simmonds
Ballard Berkeley
Ballard Berkeley
Ballard Berkeley
Ballard Berkeley
Barbara Murray
Barbara Murray
Barbara Murray and Dermot Walsh
Barbara Murray and Dermot Walsh
Barbara Murray
Barbara Murray
Barbara Murray and John Horsley
Barbara Murray and John Horsley
Charles Victor
Charles Victor
Charles Victor and Barbara Murray
Charles Victor and Barbara Murray
Charles Victor and Dermot Walsh
Charles Victor and Dermot Walsh
Charles Victor and Michael Ward
Charles Victor and Michael Ward
Charles Victor
Charles Victor
Dermot Walsh
Dermot Walsh
John Blythe and Dermot Walsh
John Blythe and Dermot Walsh
John Blythe and Martin Benson
John Blythe and Martin Benson
John Horseley and Barbara Murray
John Horseley and Barbara Murray
John Horseley and Barbara Murray
John Horseley and Barbara Murray
Martin Benson and Annette D. Simmonds
Martin Benson and Annette D. Simmonds
Michael Ward
Michael Ward
Michael Ward and Charles Victor
Michael Ward and Charles Victor
Michael Ward and Martin Benson
Michael Ward and Martin Benson
Michael Ward
Michael Ward
Peter Bayliss and Ballard Berkeley
Peter Bayliss and Ballard Berkeley
Thomas Gallagher
Thomas Gallagher
Thora Hird, Barbara Murray and Charles Victor
Thora Hird, Barbara Murray and Charles Victor
Thora Hird and Charles Victor
Thora Hird and Charles Victor