I grew up watching Lloyd Bridges in Sea Hunt. Loved that sound of bubbling on the soundtrack, and those nasty run-ins with Moray Eels! So, when The Deadly Dream, a TV movie, came out in 1971, I had to watch. Even at the age of 14, I knew it was junk, but my friends and I found it amusing, and my nascent interest in surrealism was tickled by the premise of the confusion of reality and the dream. I caught up with Lloyd Bridges again in The Limping Man (1953) the double-feature on my DVD of The Scar.
Bridges plays a man returning to England to pick up with his war-time love after being stateside for six years. She’s a real dreamboat, and an actress to boot, but she doesn’t meet him at the airport as planned. As he walks from the plane, the man behind him asks for a light, they pause, and a sniper shoots the man dead! The corpse has a picture of Bridge’s lady friend on him, but that comes out later.
The film is a passable suspense story that seems ripped off from The 39 Steps, Hitchcock’s films in general, and The Third Man. Stylistically, it’s no great shakes, although I liked the sequence of shots below, as Bridges runs after a man he believes is implicated with the shooting. A little bit of noir-expressionism on the London riverside.
I enjoy films that show the seedy side of life in London in the 50s (Dance with a Stranger, Night and the City), and there was some of that here. The ending of the film is so unexpected and so outrageous, I didn’t know whether to laugh or smash my video screen. This is one case where I will keep completely mum so you can make your own unbiased judgment if you watch it!