‘The Halfway House,’ directed by Basil Dearden

Movie, 1944

A good looking, well-paced hodgepodge of a film. Ostensibly, this is a mystery with a supernatural twist, although there’s plenty of romance, dashes of family saga, comedy and a few odd scenes, which don’t seem to add much to the plot. The film ploughs in a huge chunk of propaganda in at the end, just for good measure. For all this, the positive features outweigh the negatives, with Mervyn Johns pretty much pre-shadowing his character in Dead of Night. The morality play type ending feels heavy-handed, but overall, this an enjoyable and likeable film. Perhaps a few too many characters squeezed into too short a time, and maybe one too many creaky character developments, but still, solid entertainment.


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