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  1. #1
    Junior Member Country: Great Britain
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    Members of movieforums.com suggested I post here given my question relates to (I think) a British film. I'm desperately frustrated trying to identify this film. Maybe my mind playing tricks on me and I've mashed several films together, but I'm desperately trying to identify a black and white film the plot of which involved a mild mannered man trying to commit a perfect murder (he considers poisoning and strangulation amongst a host of other things). As I remember it the plot involved the murderer researching all the ways in which to commit the perfect murder, but then not actually committing the murder. I think the murderer visits several pubs looking for a 'mickey finn' thinking it is a person rather than poison, but ultimately causes a gas leak in a room that leads to the death of the victim. He then tries to confess, but everyone thinks it was an accident (which technically it was at this point). I'm sure it was from the 1940s. Your help please.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Peggy Mount goes to a pub to find a mickey finn in The Naked Truth and there's a murder-by-gas in Dear Murderer though therwise they don't quite match your synopsis. They'e both jolly good films though...

  3. #3
    GRAEME
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    Could it be Peter Sellers' planning murder in The Battle of the Sexes?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    The reference to a "mickey finn" and the unsuccessful attempts at trying to kill Constance Cummings made me think of The Naked Truth and The Battle of the Sexes as well. Both Peter Sellers films. However, sonofsteve thinks this is a 1940s film. Is it possible this might be the great Charlie Chaplin's Monsieur Verdoux (1947)? I'm thinking of when he tries to kill his loudmouth American wife Martha Raye.

    Oh no! I was focusing too much on the attempts to murder and forgot about the last bit. I don't think it is Monsieur Verdoux after all. Isn't dying from the effects of a gas leak a bit grim for a Black Comedy though?
    Last edited by cornershop15; 26-05-11 at 10:31 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: Afghanistan
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornershop15 View Post
    Oh no! I was focusing too much on the attempts to murder and forgot about the last bit. I don't think it is Monsieur Verdoux after all. Isn't dying from the effects of a gas leak a bit grim for a Black Comedy though?
    Yes the old town made gas was lethal (even in small amounts) as it was full of Carbon Monoxide and other nasties. I'll stick my neck out and say nobody has been able to gas themselves since we had natural gas (blow themselves up maybe?) as Methane is not poisonous. The Randall and Hopkirk ep 'what a sweet little room' dated very quickly because at the time it was being shown, the whole country was being converted to natural gas.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    Many apologies to original poster sonofsteve for going a little off-topic but I found the last post very interesting and hope he shares my opinion.

    I remember those scenes in But What a Sweet Little Room very well, Arfur. That's an excellent example of what I mean. Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) is very much light in tone most of the time but this pre-credits sequence is still fairly harrowing. You've inspired me to have another look and Frances Bennett's character is really made to suffer by Michael Goodliffe, who she sees digging her grave outside.

    I've just found this description at the episode's Wikipedia page. The writer was similarly affected by the look of it:

    This is a particularly macabre episode (very different from the almost slapstick comedic atmosphere of The Ghost of Monte Carlo) with the sudden unexpected grisly death of the widow in and air-tight toom, initially masquerading as a delightful cottage drawing room or study (the room that gives its name to the episode title), shown in graphic detail at the start of the program(me).

    Another extract from Wikipedia, this time its British Gas plc page. You were right, Arfur :

    Surveys in the North Sea had shown that there were large reserves of natural gas and in 1966 the decision was taken to convert the UK from town gas to natural gas. The next year the first natural gas from the North Sea had arrived and over the next 10 years British Gas carried out a massive conversion programme converting appliances from town gas to natural gas.
    Last edited by cornershop15; 26-05-11 at 05:45 PM.

  7. #7
    Junior Member Country: Great Britain
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornershop15 View Post
    The reference to a "mickey finn" and the unsuccessful attempts at trying to kill Constance Cummings made me think of The Naked Truth and The Battle of the Sexes as well. Both Peter Sellers films. However, sonofsteve thinks this is a 1940s film. Is it possible this might be the great Charlie Chaplin's Monsieur Verdoux (1947)? I'm thinking of when he tries to kill his loudmouth American wife Martha Raye.

    Oh no! I was focusing too much on the attempts to murder and forgot about the last bit. I don't think it is Monsieur Verdoux after all. Isn't dying from the effects of a gas leak a bit grim for a Black Comedy though?
    I'm slowly coming around to the idea that I've perhaps unwittingly mashed together at least two films. Both The Naked Truth and The Battle of the Sexes have plot elements that fit the bill, and sound interesting enough to watch on their own merit. I will check them out in more detail - someone else on movieforums.com suggested The Battle of the Sexes.

    Thanks for the pointers. I'll report back any progress.

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