The October Man

July 13, 2014 at 11:13 pm (5 Heads, October Man) (, , )

The October Man – 1947 – England

Jim Ackland is hospitalized after a catastrophic bus accident. Survivor’s guilt and a skull fracture have made him suicidal. After an extended hospital stay, he moves into a shabby hotel, takes a new job, and gets a girlfriend. When one of the other hotel boarders is murdered, Jim is implicated due to happenstance and his mental illness. Eventually Jim discovers he was framed by the real killer and must escape the police while clearing his name.

The October Man is not very realistic. The portrayal of Jim’s depression is silly and unbelievable, as is the police’s investigation. I do not know much about the English legal system, but the evidence incriminating Jim is entirely circumstantial. That does not mean October Man is not fun to watch. Jim has pathos, and the many minor characters are even more interesting. The hotel boarders are surprisingly developed, and their drama is an excellent catalyst for murder.

Like many English films of the era, October Man is leisurely paced and lacks shocks. However, its somber mood is supported by low key performances and shadowy photography. Plus, I really like stories about people being falsely accused.

Rating: 5/10 Shrunken Heads. Never trust a man named Mr. Peachy.

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