Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Ray Milland #3

Here are the remaining five films from the ten Milland you ought to see - of course, in true top ten style, there'll certainly be an eleven and maybe even a twelve...

The Premature Burial (Roger Corman, 1962): gripping Roger Corman adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s tale (and the first Corman Poe not to star Vincent Price), that features Milland as a man tormented by the fear that his father died buried alive after a cataleptic attack. He designs a crypt rigged with escape devices – then he suffers his own attack of catalepsy, which a doctor misdiagnoses as a fatal coronary.

A Man Alone (Ray Milland, 1955): a gunfighter, Wes Steele (Milland), alone in the wilderness discovers the aftermath of a stage robbery, in which all the passengers were killed. He rides to town on one of the loose horses and reports what he has seen but finds himself not only accused of the crime, but also of the murder of a local banker. He hides in the basement of a house where the sheriff lives with his daughter. This tightly scripted little film, a paranoid Western-noir, highlights small-town corruption and the mentality of the mob and was Milland’s directorial debut.

The Big Clock (John Farrow, 1948): a snappily-paced film noir told in flashback. Crime magazine publisher Earl; Janoth (Charles Laughton) murders his wife after wrongly assuming she is having an affair; he decides to frame her ‘lover’ and sets his editor-in-chief George Stroud(Milland) on the case – not knowing that he is the man he had seen her with!

Earl Janoth: [talking on intercom to Steve Hagen] On the fourth floor - in the broom closet - a bulb has been burning for several days. Find the man responsible, dock his pay.

X: The Man with X-Ray Eyes (Roger Corman, 1963): an ambitious science-fiction film in which Milland plays Dr Xavier, a scientist carries out experiments with X-Ray vision that go horribly wrong. His visual capacity begins to increase but his ability to control it decreases and he can no longer see the world in human terms, just in forms of lights and textures that his brain cannot completely comprehend. Eventually, he claims he can see things at the edges of the universe and an "eye that sees us all.” A pastor tells him that this is "sin and the devil," adding: "If thine eye offends thee... pluck it out!" and Xavier blinds himself rather than see anything more.

Dial M for Murder (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954): hugely underrated thriller adapted from Frederick Knott’s successful stage play, somewhat in the Gaslight vein. Former tennis pro Tony Wendice (Milland) discovers his wife (Grace Kelly) is having an affair with an American crime writer (Robert Cummings) and decides to have her murdered, but she kills the hired assassin and is sentenced to death until Wendice makes one key mistake…

“Do you really believe in the perfect murder?”


  1. I do suffer many but I really like these movies :)
    María :)

  2. These look great especially The Big Clock, I really Like Dial M for Murder, can never figure out Grace Kelly though, is she acting or is she dull ?