Maura Prince (Patricia Neal) leads a lonely life in a dilapidated country mansion, sensing the world is passing her by as she cares for the demanding, invalid mother (Pamela Brown) who adopted her years ago. Then a much younger stranger (Nicholas Clay) takes up residence as a handyman. He's handsome, helpful. Wary Maura grows to love him... but it's all too good to be true. Psychosexual tensions, menacing ambiance and murders most foul are unearthed by The Night Digger, a Gothic suspense drama scripted by Roald Dahl and set to an edgy Bernard Herrmann score. Dahl's wife Neal turns in a poignant performance made even more authentic by the fact that Maura, like Neal in real life, is a recovered stroke victim.
Adapted by Roald Dahl from a novel by Joy Crowley, THE ROAD BUILDER is better known by its American release title: THE NIGHT DIGGER. Patricia Neal, then Mrs. Dahl, stars as the repressed middle-aged adopted daughter of blind and elderly Pamela Brown. Both women are drawn to Nicholas Clay, a seriously disturbed young handyman whom they shield from the authorities. Neal and Brown are particularly fascinated by Clay's mysterious nocturnal forays. When Neal decides to offer herself sexually to Clay, she learns to her horror just why Clay spends so much time outdoors at night. An eerie Bernard Herrmann score enhances the stomach-churning tension.
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