The Black Glove (1954)
This didn't look like a safe place to take your mother.
The Black Glove (AKA: Face the Music) is directed by Terence Fisher and adapted to screenplay by Ernest Borneman from his own novel Face the Music. It stars Alex Nicol, Eleanor Summerfield, John Salew, Paul Carpenter and Geoffrey Keen. Out of Hammer Film Productions, music is by Ivor Stanley and Kenny Baker, and cinematography by Jimmy Harvey.
Brad Bradley (Nicol) is an American trumpet player in London who finds himself suspected of murdering a lady blues singer. Bogged down by lack of sleep and with only minor clues to work from, Bradley trawls the basement Jazz clubs of the city trying to clear his name.
I felt like yesterday's corpse when I finally got away that night.
A murder mystery with shades of noir, The Black Glove is a decent viewing experience for the most part, but one that is ultimately undone by a weak finale. Clues are followed, mystery element is strong, but the writer cheats a bit as the reveal plays out in Hercule Poirot fashion. The atmosphere and tone of the picture is impressive, we are in a world of low level music bars and one bed apartments, London's bright lights serving as the backdrop as Brad Bradley goes sleuth. He narrates as well, often providing us viewers with some wry or grizzled observations, the dialogue sharp and a bonus aspect in the film. The music is snazzy, with Kenny Baker and his Dozen providing the backbone for this music set drama, the trumpet sections particularly enjoyable. Most of the film is lighted to provide shadows, but one pre-crime shot involving street lamps only makes us lament there wasn't more of this type of photography within. Cast are good enough, especially the likeable Nicol, and direction from Fisher, who would go on to become a legend amongst Hammer Horror fans, is safe and assured. 6/10