The Naked Edge
|The Naked Edge|
|Directed by||Michael Anderson|
|Produced by||George Glass|
|Written by||Max Ehrlich|
|Music by||William Alwyn|
|Editing by||Gordon Pilkington|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Release date(s)|| May 1961|
June 28, 1961
|Running time||97 min.|
The Naked Edge is a 1961 thriller film. It was a British-American co-production distributed by United Artists, directed by Michael Anderson and produced by George Glass and Walter Seltzer with Marlon Brando Sr. as executive producer. The screenplay was by Joseph Stefano and Max Ehrlich, the music score by William Alwyn and the cinematography by Erwin Hillier and Tony White. The production design was by Carmen Dillon.
The film follows the aftermath of a theft and murder, especially the fears of Martha Radcliffe (Kerr), who, as she investigates the crime, increasingly suspects her husband George Radcliffe (Cooper), whose testimony in court convicted the main suspect, of being the real culprit. Only at the end of the film is another man revealed to be the killer.
Businessman Jason Root is stabbed to death on a night when George and a clerk named Donald Heath are the only other employees working at the office. A mailbag full of money is stolen in the process. George, who is seen sweating nervously both during the trial and later in the film, insists that Heath must have been the murderer, and Heath is convicted. Several months later, the mailbag is found, and the Radcliffes receive a letter that was in the bag. The letter, which Martha reads, contains a blackmail threat from Jeremy Gray (Portman) accusing George of the crime.
As the story unfolds, clues pointing to George quickly accumulate. These include a new business started by Radcliffe soon after the trial, using money that he claims to have made in the stock market; his own desperate desire for success; his lying to his wife in order to secretly search for Gray; some suspicious business with an unknown man; and Gray's claim, when Martha finds him, that he was an eyewitness to the crime and Radcliffe was the murderer.
Throughout the film, George and Martha repeatedly have conversations in which she vacillates between questioning him and insisting she believes in his innocence, and he alternates between insisting that she believe in him and telling her to make up her own mind. Tension is built and maintained between George and Martha by the repeated appearance of George's old-style shaving razor, his insistence that she join him at the edge of a cliff, references to his masculine virility, and his warning that her investigation could threaten his business. At the film's conclusion, a man tries to kill Martha after being seen sharpening George's razor, but the man turns out to be Gray. George rescues his wife just in time and subdues Gray as the police arrive.
The film stars Gary Cooper and Deborah Kerr with Eric Portman, Diane Cilento, Hermione Gingold, Peter Cushing, Michael Wilding, Ronald Howard, Ray McAnally, Sandor Elès, Wilfrid Lawson and Joyce Carey.
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