Rent Wanted for Murder (1946)

3.4 of 5 from 59 ratings
1h 38min
Rent Wanted for Murder (aka A Voice in the Night) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Pretty Anne Fielding (Dulcie Gray) has her pick of men. There's her boyfriend, the sophisticated Victor (Eric Portman), and now there's Jack... He's the humble bus conductor who comes to her rescue after the bus stalls and delays her journey by an hour. She was on her way to meet Victor at the Hampstead Heath fairground and Jack gallantly escorts her there. Sparks fly between the pair as they share ice cream and enjoy the fair while keeping an eye out for Victor. When they finally reunite, Anne and Victor head for home at the same time a young woman is found dead on the Heath.
She appears to be the latest victim of The Strangler', a notorious serial killer who has already struck five times before. With Jack seen storming away from the scene and Victor's handkerchief found near the body, the police seize both men to appear in the lineup of potential suspects. A crazed game of cat and mouse ensues and Anne soon finds herself in serious danger. The police are up against time in this race to draw the threads together - but in the end, which neck will they close around? Will the police get their killer before he gets Anne?
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Marcel Hellman
Percy Robinson, Terence de Marney, Emeric Pressburger
A Voice in the Night
Simply Media
Classics, Drama, Thrillers
The Instant Expert's Guide to Powell and Pressburger, Top 10 British Actresses of the 1940s, Top Films
Release Date:
Run Time:
98 minutes
English Mono
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
B & W

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Reviews (2) of Wanted for Murder

The Title Isn't Kidding. - Wanted for Murder review by NC

Spoiler Alert

This feels like one of those pretty average B films churned out by the likes of Butcher's, with an extra forty minutes tacked on, improving it not a stitch. There is no discernible departure from the routine serial killer/police investigation format; the script, even with Rodney Ackland involved, is no better than competent, and often not even that; and the direction and the production plays safe by enclosing the enterprise in a conventional straightjacket. Good acting may have raised it a level or two, but the mostly second division stars don't seem to try very hard. Before the climax, Eric Portman is allowed to show his 'Hyde' character once only, in a good scene at Madame Tussauds. For the rest of the time he gives a fair impression of a monolith. Dulcie Gray and Derek Farr are hardly first choices if you want charisma in your leads. Stanley Holloway is there presumably to add a light touch. Trouble is he's as amusing as mumps. Only Roland Culver, as the police Inspector, looks assured. The ending isn't worth sitting through the rest of the film for.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Cut a Cigar is a Smoke - Wanted for Murder review by CH

Spoiler Alert

Forster-like, one may as well begin with Spoliansky's music. That is to say, his score for Wanted for Murder (1946) is highly romantic. Did it inspire the choice of Rachmaninov for Brief Encounter a couple of years later? Which said, the two films share a study of passion; this one's theme, though, is strangulation, never a possibility on that railway-station platform.

Sometimes deemed a second-string number, Wanted for Murder is in fact a great example of the way in which character actors – even Stanley Holloway (and off-screen wife) - could portray stolid Scotland Yard figures who find themselves caught up in a fatal, even Greek kinkfest.

It gives nothing away to say that cigar enthusiast Eric Portman, troubled grandson of a Victorian hangman, is the strangler of women in London nights. The plot turns upon his being tracked, and captured. We can, of course, be sure that he will not escape, but...

Here is another glorious portrayal of post-war London, within and without, which transcends the classes not in fact felled by the seemingly seismic 1945 Election.

Nothing is ever set in stone, or even wax: a couple of crucial scenes to treasure are a be-whiskered Wilfrid Hyde-White as a sleepy night-guard at the Chamber of Horrors (does anybody still go there?).

And, at the same time, across the Atlantic, no less a reviewer than James Agee praised “some beautifully exciting shots of Hyde Park as a police cordon clears away the rattled crowds and closes, through the twilight, for the kill”.

Those involved in creating this film are often deemed lesser lights but their efforts brought us a masterpiece.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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