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Terror Street aka 36 Hours
Hammer Film Noir Collector?s Set Volume 2
Hammer Film Noir Double Features Vol. 4
Dan Duryea, Jane Carr
Directed by Montgomery Tully
Black and White
Kit Parker Films 1953
VCI Entertainment 2007
Terror Street aka 36 Hours (American title and British title) is one of the eight film noir in the 4 DVD Hammer Film Noir Collector’s Set Volume 2 and one of my favorites in the bunch. Granted, Terror Street aka 36 Hours is not a perfect film noir DVD but it is very enjoyable, well made, and Dan Duryea is very good in a good guy role for a change.
Duryea plays American flyboy Bill Rogers who meets and marries Norwegian girl Katie (Elsie Albiin) near the end of WWII. Their courtship is told in a rather clumsy flashback (that does have a couple of funny courtship bits in it) at the beginning of Terror Street. Stuck in a post in the United States and forced to leave his wife behind, Bill goes AWOL to London to spend time with the missus. He finds their apartment totally empty, discovers Katie has moved out, tracks her to her new apartment, and looks at their flashback inducing wedding picture as he waits for her. She shows up, Bill gets knocked out, and Katie is shot by a bad guy looking for something. Bill wakes up with a headache, a dead wife, and 36 hours to prove his innocence.
What I enjoy most about the Hammer Film Noir DVDs is the movies, all under ninety minutes, are story driven and not big on filler material. Characterization is clear and easy to understand, situations are clear cut, and the tension is always there. The lighting makes the most of the black and white film and adds a lot to the film noir feeling. This is especially true in Terror Street.
Terror Street also features some nifty little bit of writing, such as when Bill finds refuge with a single gal: “I’ll make you a cup of tea.” “Do you have any coffee?” “I was not expecting any visiting Americans.” “Tea will do then.” There are also short bits of humor tossed in from time to time, such as Bill’s visit to a soup kitchen, that makes the movie that much enjoyable.
One of the big differences with past Hammer Film Noir DVDs I have watched is in 36 Hours aka Terror Street you know who the bad guy is –and an excellent baddie he is– and most of his motive pretty early on in the movie. This, however, and a couple of rather heavy-handed plot contrivances does not take away from the thrill and interest in this whodunit.
Terror Street comes with Wings of Danger starring Zachary Scott, another flyboy mystery on the Hammer Film Noir Double Feature Volume 4 DVD