The Dark Man (film)

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The Dark Man
"The Dark Man" (1951).jpg
Directed by Jeffrey Dell
Written byJeffrey Dell
Produced by Julian Wintle
Starring Edward Underdown
Maxwell Reed
Natasha Parry
William Hartnell
Barbara Murray
Cinematography Eric Cross
Edited by Geoffrey Muller
Music by Hubert Clifford
Distributed by General Film Distributors
Release date
  • 22 January 1951 (1951-01-22)
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

The Dark Man (AKA Man Detained) is a 1951 British black and white, film-noir, thriller, crime, drama, film, from Rank Studios, written and directed by Jeffrey Dell, and starring Edward Underdown, Maxwell Reed and Natasha Parry. [1]



At a farmhouse in a lonely wood, ruthless killer "The Dark Man" (Maxwell Reed) murders a petty criminal. He then shoots the taxi driver who drove him there, knowing he would be able to identify him. However, the murder is witnessed by a young actress, Molly (Natasha Parry), who is passing by. The Dark Man now has reason to silence her as well. When the police investigate the murder, Inspector Viner (Edward Underdown) is assigned to the case, and soon develops romantic feelings for Molly. Meanwhile, The Dark Man continues to stalk his prey, and is foiled in an attempt to strangle Molly at her home - but continues to pursue her. The climax comes with a desperate chase across a desolate landscape. [2] [3]


Critical reception

The New York Times wrote: "this Julian Wintle production often stirs up a fair amount of suspense and absorption, chiefly because of the efficient direction of Jeffrey Dell, an excellent performance by Edward Underdown, as a detective, and a painless round-up of typical British "types" in minor roles. But the scenario is a meandering affair overbalanced with too many sneering close-ups of its culprits, and...anything but suggestive of the banner of the distributors, Fine Arts Films, Inc.". [4] AllMovie noted: "the plot is nothing new, though the settings--a provincial repertory theatre, a military rifle range--are rather novel"; [3] and Britmovie thought, "Edward Underdown is clearly too old to be the young policeman and love interest, but brooding Maxwell Reed is very effective as the shadowy ‘Dark Man’." [2]

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  1. "The Dark Man". BFI. Archived from the original on 12 July 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  2. 1 2 "The Dark Man" . Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  3. 1 2 "The Dark Man (1951) - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast - AllMovie". AllMovie. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  4. "Movie Review -- Two Offerings by Fine Arts Films -". Retrieved 6 August 2017.