The Upturned Glass (1947) is a perfect example of a rainy day afternoon watch. Paying attention isn’t a necessity when watching but if you do, you won’t find yourself straining to keep up with the storyline.
This British thriller starring James Mason, Rosamund John and Pamela Kellino, is a black and white drama which is fifty percent voiceover (I think it should be a national requirement for children to learn how to enunciate from Mason’s clipped English voice) and the other twenty and thirty percent awarded to impeccable wardrobes and the actors decent delivery despite the films tepid execution.
Synopsis: Charismatic neurosurgeon Michael Joyce, who for reasons unexplored, tells a lecture room of students the story of his affair with a married woman, and the details of her sudden death. Believing his lover was murdered, he shares with the audience with a just how he plans to lure and murder the person he thinks is responsible in the same way.
the BASH: Revealing his dark intentions under the guise of a case study is a great technique for the plot, but the narration is intrusive and clunky – during key moments of the film it becomes tiresome and ruins the thrill aspect substantially. Instead of allowing the characters to talk we are constantly spoon-fed information. You probably won’t care much for them either because, truthfully, they’re all a little flat. No fault of the cast though; Mason, as always, delivers a fine performance of the anti-hero of the film, and his supporting cast are equally gracious (notably Pamela Kellino who is my new favourite actress of yesteryear) a reminder that they don’t make actors like they used to.
Predictability isn’t a flaw in this film infact it’s paramount; the real climax in the story takes place after the crime has been committed and that is the film’s saving grace. Too bad it all happens in the last fifteen minutes.