Thanks to Barry and Gill for inviting me to participate in The Christopher Lee Blogathon!
Check out the other reviews this weekend...
If NOTHING BUT THE NIGHTisn’t the title of a 1980’s pop power ballad, it totally should be. However I’m talking about a 1973 film starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Honestly, I had never heard of the film until Prime Video recommended it to me.
|screenplay by Brian Hayles, from the novel by John Blackburn \ directed by Peter Sasdy|
The Van Traylen fund is having some problems. Its trustees are dropping off like flies, but they appear to be suicides. Then a bus, loaded with really obnoxious singing orphans, has an accident, killing three more trustees and landing one young girl in the hospital. Well, this peaks the interest of Colonel Bingham and Dr. Ashley. Their investigation leads them to the traumatized young girl and her unstable jailbird mother. As Bingham and Ashley dig deeper into the mysterious deaths, with the help of a reporter, the clues lead them to a school with a very dark secret. Is it ritual murder or is it a plot similar to a big hit from a few years ago? I would tell you, but you’d tell me to get out of here.
|Diana Dors looking Divine|
After the slam-bang opening scenes of murder, NOTHING BUT THE NIGHT settles into an evenly paced plot. The film may not be action-packed, but trying to figure out the crazy story held my interest. An extremely entertaining, full throttle performance by Diana Dors as the girl’s mother also kept me engaged and guessing as to her character’s motive. Peter Cushing, of course, lights up the screen as Dr. Ashley with his subtle, classy charm. Then there is the man of the hour...
Honestly, when I think of Christopher Lee, my first thought is Hammer horror. His portrayal of Dracula, to be specific, because he owned that role. Then I think about his appearances in two of the Star Wars prequels, elevating them more than they deserve. Finally, I think of his appearances in a few Tim Burton films, especially Sleepy Hollow and Dark Shadows, which seem appropriate. So, it was refreshing to see him play an ordinary person in NOTHING BUT THE NIGHT.
Who wouldn’t make passes at this guy wearing glasses?
Christopher Lee portrays Colonel Bingham as an intelligent, intimidating, no-nonsense kind of man. He may be surrounded by threads of the supernatural, but he’s not overly touched by it. Lee gives a good performance, even showing Colonel Bingham’s vulnerable side during the jaw-dropping ending. PSA: Just say no to bonfires!
|Original or Extra Crispy?|
I must add that seeing Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing together in a film is always thrilling. Even more so since their characters are on the same side. Their chemistry is palpable and probably makes NOTHING BUT THE NIGHTeven better.
|Cushing & Lee ~ Gee, it’s good to be together again!|
In conclusion, if you’re in the mood for a slow burn supernatural mystery, with an ending that will not disappoint, NOTHING BUT THE NIGHT may be the film for you. However, if you’ve never seen a Christopher Lee film, you may want to get to know him in other films first and then come back to this one.
Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words.
P.S. Here is my post from the last Blogathon I participated in...
For some mind-altering music, check out this month’s Collective Eye interview...