Straight On till Morning - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Straight On till Morning Reviews

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July 14, 2015
Paving the way for the new "serial killer" genre in 70s cinema...the film slowly starts out like a Patty Duke Show episode and slowly turns into the most frightening and disturbing Hitchcockian influenced horror movie of that time. Keep in mind, as you watch.....the film wasreleased in 1971, before the ad nauseum of the 70s bad guy serial killer, he knows your alone, naieve girl trust crazy man movies of the 70s and80s. It is simply the first of its kind and the best. If you even look at the cover for the DVD....you pretty much know the plot. The terror in watching this, is finding out about the two main characters. They are very much similar but then, obviously deal with their sadness in very different ways. They are both outsiders, have deep destructive issues with insecurity and cannot have the confidence to make life better for themselves. Wendy (as the killer names her)....searches for true love and a family. Peter searches for companionship (and possibly love) but suffers from disturbing and destructive behavior which makes his quest meaningless and horribly dangerous (viewers should be warned of a controversial and upsetting scene, where I had to turn away and cover my ears) All actors are brilliant here....too many to mention. but obviously it is the daring and gifted Rita Tushingham and the relatively new Shane Briant (in a brave, star making performance of great depth) who take the old fashioned thriller genre and turn it into a thought provoking but terrifying experience. Both actors were highly regarded actors in England....but of course, at best...cult actors in the United States. The same can be said of director Peter Collinson, the master of British thriller and horror films that leave you wondering, "what the hell just happened"?? Collinson , as always, was ahead of his time on this remarkable film. One of the movie's main themes is the promise of the 60's peace and love/ hippie movement coming to a close with horrible circumstances. Promiscuity runs deep from all the characters in the story....which make them look sleazy and unfeeling, not at all in search of love and hope for a family. Having the innocent and starry eyed Wendy in search of true love and something stable...shows how unrealistic that option was at the time. Her quest for goodness and purity leaves her humiliated, alienated and desperate. And oddly, the same for Peter. Collinson has made a movie from a story that was a red flag for the stupidity of the sexual revolution and the consequences, its downfall. I'll stop here, not wanting to give too much away. But the movie is important, a definite must see...but not for the faint of heart.
½ March 12, 2014
(48%)
An acquired taste British horror thriller from the director of "The Italian job". The opening 20 mins are really quite trippy with frequent editing as the story cuts forwards and backwards almost constantly, but once it settles down it becomes a much more standard flick. It may not be the most well thought out movie in terms of plot, nor the most scary, but the acting is good and the director at least cared about making something different. Worth a look, but it's not for everyone.
October 29, 2012
A serial killer movie with an interesting hook that never never takes off--Tiresome morality play!!
October 25, 2012
This is the second film from my Hammer boxed set that has no critic or audience reviews on Flixster. In truth I can see why. This is a lethargic thriller with a lead character who might be likeable if it wasn't for her infuriating naivety and a villain who lacks any subtlety whatsoever, I cared for neither. The editing is woeful at times and the scripting is stale.
February 16, 2012
Tedious but watchable Hammer flick. I did not like the speedy editing. The story is ok, i just think they could have done a better job.
September 3, 2011
By the early 1970's, alot of people had accused Hammer Films of losing their way, and that their brand of filmmaking had become passe. They responded to those allegations by making a love story, Hammer style. Directed by Peter Collinson, then hot off The Italian Job (1969), this is maybe the darkest and most unsettling Hammer Horror of them all, because of it's realism. This has Liverpool girl Brenda Thompson (Rita Tushingham) moving to London to start a new life, primarily because she wants to become a mother, even though her mother Margo (Claire Kelly) is scornful of the idea of her moving to a strange city. She moves and works in a trendy boutique for Caroline (Katya Wyeth) and Jimmy Lindsay (Tom Bell), and lives with Caroline. After she has an affair with Joey (James Bolam), whom Brenda wanted. She runs away, and ends up finding a dog called Tinker, who belongs to the mysterious Peter Clive (Shane Briant), and they end up falling in love. It seems Brenda has found the perfect man to be with, however, it all seems a bit too good to be true, and he has a few skeletons in the closet, quite literally too. This is a very unnerving film, very hard hitting, even by today's standards. Tushingham plays the naive girl with an innocent charm, while Briant is terrifying as her new beau. This makes a brilliant companion piece to Hitchcock's Frenzy, also out around the same time as this.
June 20, 2011
Slightly charming but overall quite a dull affair with not much happening at all. 4/10
April 12, 2011
A startling climax makes up for some weak performances early on.
½ January 24, 2010
Up until recently had never heard of this film and I thought I had seen most of the Hammer Horror‚??s. This comes from a period when Hammer Films where in Decline, but this film is far from that, its original, different and very good. Rita Tushingham is superb as the Lonely Plain Jane who leaves Liverpool to go to London to find a fella to have a baby! Oh boy does she pick the wrong one! In the form of the disturbing Shane Bryant, who‚??s portrayal really is mad!. Fast paced and surreal editing make this a very different film, the only disappointment was the unresolved ending still very good and a pleasant surprise.
½ September 22, 2009
Basically a love story from Hammer however the lover boy has a slight problem with things that are beautiful
March 5, 2009
Hammer goes all kitchen sink on us with this bleak tale of naive girl moving to London to meet up with a bloke so he can get her pregnant - only the bloke she falls in love with is a psycho serial killer - is there any other kind - them's the breaks.
½ August 29, 2008
Not what you would expect from Hammer. A boring story with some bad scenes with music that really hurts your brain. Avoid!!!
½ August 8, 2008
A terribly uncomfortable film. The film does a brilliant job of fleshing out every character. The direction is great, cinematography atmospheric, acting all phenomenal. Shane Briant gives a particularly superb performance as a very well written and realistic psychopath. The only aspects which let the film down ever so slightly are some rather dated shots, and very dated score. They do not make films this tense anymore.
June 3, 2008
A "love story" like only Hammer can do it!
May 26, 2008
Unusual Hammer flick, in which Dracula and Frankenstein are thrown out in favour of kitchen sink psycho drama. Imagine Play For The Day crossed with Hitchcock's Frenzy and that pretty much describes the fare on offer here. Also worth seeing if only for Tom Bell's spot on impression of Jason King, and a truly great ending that refuses to cop out on what has gone previously.
½ April 7, 2008
More psychological stuff from Hammer, originally part of a double bill with Fear In The Night. This is certainly the better of the two films.
The story of inncocent/childlike/plain Brenda and her move to London where she meets and ends up living with good looking Clive who we know is a serial killer. Sounds pretty straight forward but this is actually pretty disturbing as both characters live in very strange fantasy realities and form a kind of symbiotic relationship as the film goes on. It is in these scenes that the film is really effective. Rita Tushingham as Brenda is excellent and her presence, especially in the early scenes, does have a kitchen sink drama with a twist feel to it.
I had a hard time getting into the first 20 minutes or so with some very fast intercutting and fragmented narrative but once this settles down it becomes a fascinating study of 2 disturbed, in there own ways, characters. There are many references to Peter Pan, the characters call each other Peter and Wendy as the film goes on.
Bulids to a an understated but effective climax.
Not in the traditional Hammer mould, but a film I really enjoyed.
February 9, 2008
From the intro with its jazzy cocktail music scored against the hustle and bustle of Earls Court this film is totally unlike anything else by Hammer, a disturbing psychological drama set in the fag-end of Swinging London's heyday, graphic and very sadistic & cruel in places, and with a cross-cutting, non-linear editing style obviously influenced by "Performance". It all feels rather twisted, sleazy, and nasty, watching the dysfunctional relationship between provincial waif/virgin Rita Tushingham and Shane Briant's androgynous, cherubic nutter lost boy, but in a strangely compelling and decadently seductive way. The story is peppered with references to Peter Pan, presumably a queasy analogy for the main characters' childlike detachment from reality and the adult world. This is no fairy tale, however - although for a short while our Peter & Wendy find themselves in a mutually convenient arrangement, until the illusion is shattered. Fans of the time will enjoy James Bolan's cameo, the dated period fashion & styles, and a rare speaking role from the beautiful Katya Wyeth. Great use of London locations including beautiful shots of the South Bank at night, and 'Peter's flat is one groovy pad!
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