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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Straight On Till Morning (1972)
(2018 Restored Blu-Ray & DVD Doubleplay)


Starring: Rita Tushingham, Shane Briant and James Bolam
Distributor: StudioCanal
RRP: £TBC (Blu-Ray & DVD Dual Format)
Certificate: 18
Release Date: 29 January 2018

Brenda is a naïve young woman who tells her mother she is pregnant and wants to find the father. In fact, she wants to go to London to find her Prince Charming and have a child with him. Securing a job in a boutique, another girl offers her a room at her place. But when Brenda is betrayed, she walks the streets where she meets a wealthy young man with a dog. Thinking all her prayers have been answered she stays with him, only to discover the man Peter is seriously unhinged, with psychotic tendencies...


Straight On Till Morning is another in the collection of Doubleplay releases from Hammer Films via StudioCanal. In the early 1970s Hammer wanted to go in a new direction, returning in part to their psychological thrillers of the 1950s. This was marketed as a double bill with the similar format Fear in the Night. Straight On Till Morning is quite a departure from their standard horror theme. Hammer’s attempt to be gritty and realistic in the urban hardship of late '60s Liverpool (this was originally screened in 1972) comes over like an amalgamation of Cathy Come Home and Peeping Tom.

Creating a groovy and happening London full with beautiful women and promiscuity makes it all the more surreal when the serpent is revealed in paradise. Rita Tushingham handles the role of the innocent ‘Plain Jane’ very commendably. Shane Briant is infinitely superior in this than the mess that was Demons of the Mind – although he regularly sinks into a trance-like state in both films. As for the very popular James Bolam, he’s woefully underutilised.

This film is directed purposefully off-kilter by Peter Collinson of The Italian Job fame (one of my all-time favourites) by way of shooting through scenery and other objects. However, the choice of music is not good; Roland Shaw’s horrible jazzy music played throughout drives you to distraction.

The ending is left ambiguous as, after Peter mentally tortures Brenda by playing her recordings of him killing his dog and the friend who had betrayed her, he is seen alone and slowly rocking himself. Is Brenda dead? We’ll never know. A bold new approach from Hammer with a shocking theme for the time, but which only succeeds in part.


Ty Power

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