Elizabeth Taylor ventured but once into the scarified world of Grande Dame Guignol, and Night Watch is the striking result. Taylor's matron in menace role is that of Ellen Wheeler, a lonely insomniac trapped in a loveless marriage and by an obsession with a creepy gothic manse next door. One night while indulging in her alcohol fueled ramblings, Ellen spots a corpse inside the vacant house. A corpse that resembles her deceased, two timing first husband...a corpse that no one else thinks exists.
Adapted from a play by suspense mistress Lucille Fletcher (Sorry, Wrong Number, The Hitch-Hiker, Night Man), Night Watch re-teams Liz with her Butterfield 8 co-star Laurence Harvey, playing Ellen's emotionally distant second husband in one of his final film performances.
An English thriller about an upper crust widow whose sanity is questioned when she reports a murder to the police and no body is found.
Well-to-do homemaker Ellen Wheeler feels the unpleasant buzz of her nerves fraying more and more with every passing moment. She claims to have seen a pair of red-splotched bodies in the ominous house next door. Or have her neurotic quirks become psychotic delusions' A gallery of men and women seem to Ellen to be behaving strangely. Her businessman husband and her best friend might even be having an affair. Her irascible neighbor works most efficiently with his gardening tools. Rounding out these suspects are an insincere shrink, a flighty chef, and a cynical cop. Whether these horrific circumstances and odd types are real or imagined, Ellen is in big trouble.
Theatrical Release |
This play adaptation originally played on Broadway, was set in a Manhattan town house, and featured a larger number of suspects. Filmmakers transferred the action to London for the screen version and cut the character list somewhat.
Additional cast: Bill Dean (Inspector Walker); Michael Danvers Walker (Sergeant Norris); Rosario Serrano (Dolores); Pauline Jameson (Secretary); Kevin Colson (Carl); and Laon Maybanke (Florist).
Additional credit: Barnard Straus (producer).
Color by Technicolor.
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