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Review of noirish pot-boiler 'The Embezzler' (1954) – John Gilling.

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  • Review of noirish pot-boiler 'The Embezzler' (1954) – John Gilling.

    Gifted Hammer Films director John Gilling, when not putting the wind up British cinema audiences with his grisly Gothic shockers filled with reptilian fiends, and singularly ghoulish zombies, also made a number of serviceable, low budget crime thrillers in the 1950s, his considerable versatility put to nimble use in the noirish potboiler 'The Embezzler'. This is, arguably, one of the more compelling examples of John Gilling's woefully neglected cops n' robbers oeuvre. In this specific instance, the existential misfortunes concern a weary, hen-pecked bank clerk Henry Paulson (Charles Victor) who is given a rather grim prognosis by his G. P which galvanizes this broken, grey little man into an extraordinarily cavalier act of larceny, the dramatic aftershocks thereafter making John Gilling's engaging, well-acted B-Thriller a breezy enough time-waster. It's aesthetically pleasing feature, featuring melancholic views of a decidedly more austere, glum-looking Eastbourne than one might have expected! While not exactly essential viewing,'The Embezzler' has a cogent text, a genuinely sympathetic protagonist in the light-fingered middle-aged misfit Paulson, and some terrifically tense interludes, plus the frequently heated exchanges between the no less shady, altogether eccentric hotel patrons provide some additional fizz!

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