The Glass Tomb (1955)
Pel Pelham Opening Soon With Starving Man Act.
The Glass Tomb (AKA: The Glass Cage) is directed by Montgomery Tully and adapted to screenplay by Richard Landau from the story The Outsiders written by A. E. Martin. It stars John Ireland, Honor Blackman, Geoffrey Keen, Eric Pohlmann, Sid James and Sydney Tafler. Music is by Leonard Salzedo and cinematography by Walter Harvey.
Pel Pelham's carnival is in town and the star attraction is Sapolio, a man prepared to be locked in a glass cage and starve himself for 70 days. But when a couple of murders occur at the carnival, the police become involved and suspicion starts to point its ugly finger.
Part of the Hammer Film Noir series released by VCI Entertainment, The Glass Tomb is an odd little picture that's more a collection of noirish traits and ideas than a fully fledged movie. Running at just under an hour in length, film hinges on the flimsiest of stories but just about gets away with it on account of solid performances and some spiky themes in the piece. In the mix are carnival outcasts, blackmail, murder, carnal desires, gluttony, addiction and a macabre party scene with a body upstairs kept company for some time by the murderer?! These are nicely presided over by Tully and Harvey where shadows are often prominent and a neon light and subway train serve the atmosphere very well. You do wonder what world we live in when people pay to watch a man just not eat? While the murderer is known to us from the first killing, thus there's no mystery aspect to hang your coat on. Though clearly the makers want us to observe how the murderer easily moves about this carnival group undetected and above suspicion.
Not comfortably recommended as a whole, but enough parts of the quilt for the noir fans to appreciate. 6/10