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The Accursed

Not quite as bad as its title would suggest.

Rod Lott September 3rd, 2013

No sooner has an annual meeting of war pals began that host Col. Price (Donald Wolfit, Lawrence of Arabia) announces to the gathered guests, all men but one, that a traitor lurks among them. He suspected as much, but having one friend show up with a knife in his back, literally, sealed the deal. Whoever is to blame most certainly is … wait for it … The Accursed!

Despite the death, Price insists they all still spend the night together at his estate; anyone who dares to try and leave obviously is guilty, and he vows to shoot to kill. Even with that warning, someone keeps trying to off the others. That's poor etiquette.

Warner Archive brings writer/director Michael McCarthy's 1957 mystery to MOD DVD, but my hopes that it would prove another classic whodunit à la Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None were unfounded. (An aside regarding that 1945 gem from René Clair: It's making its Blu-ray debut from Oklahoma's own VCI Entertainment.)

Army officers pop in, but true suspense never does. Just when viewers may be lulled toward sleep, a character screams, “Do I have to substantiate THIS?!?”, which has the unintended effect of being comical. That goes double — nay, triple — for the ending; let's just say if you like your murderers to play the piano in defeat, it'll hit the right note.

Sadly, The Accursed is merely — yet barely — average. Too much like a play without the jolt the medium provides, it's staged with dullness and is also extremely dated, remaining a product of its black-and-white times. —Rod Lott

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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