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  1. #1
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    I'm a big fan of "And Soon the Darkness." A very under-rated film. I haven't seen it for a few years so correct me if I'm wrong but what struck me was that it was a film that benefitted from a lack of music. In fact I believe I recall that the isolation of the heroine, often accompanied by the rustle of the wind/trees or just plain silence added to the general eerieness of the piece.

    Thanks - think I'll order the Region 1 disc and see if its as good as i remember

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    And Soon the Darkness used to be shown a lot in very late night slots, with the result that I twice fell asleep and missed the ending. My opinion of the film improved when I finally saw it all the way through and discovered that the killer was a completely different character to the one I had thought.

  3. #3
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    Bobj:

    I'm a big fan of "And Soon the Darkness." A very under-rated film. I haven't seen it for a few years so correct me if I'm wrong but what struck me was that it was a film that benefitted from a lack of music. In fact I believe I recall that the isolation of the heroine, often accompanied by the rustle of the wind/trees or just plain silence added to the general eerieness of the piece.

    Thanks - think I'll order the Region 1 disc and see if its as good as i remember
    Due to the wonders of a multi-region DVD player, I was able to watch a couple of obscure British movies this weekend. Both date from Bryan Forbes time as studio head of EMI (I think) in the late sixties, early seventies and both suffered from indifferent releases. Yet these movies that came and went at the cinema found a new audience due to numerous television showings.



    ‘And Soon The Darkness’ comes from the prolific pen of Avengers writer Brian Clemens. It follows two nurses on a cycling holiday in provincial France, after an argument one disappears, was she the latest victim of a sex murderer?



    The one thing that sticks in the mind is the locations. Long straight roads stretching off into the distance, the blazing sun in the sky looking down on deserted fields, a disused trailer park, full of rusting caravans, deep woods…Having the action set in sunlight is a master-stroke, almost ‘Hitchcockian’ in it’s effect, as is having the main lead very much alone, a victim of the language barrier (she knows little French, the French know little English), never quite knowing who to trust.



    The cast is small but good, the principal members being Pamela Franklin (of ‘The Innocents’, ‘Legend Of Hell House’ fame), Michele Dotrice and Sandor Eles and is well directed by another escapee from ‘The Avengers’, Robert Feust.





    There is a soundtrack but apart from the opening credits it's pretty unobtrusive. It's composed by Laurie Johnson (another 'Avengers' connection!). According to the DVD's commentary (By Clemens and Fuest)it was played back to the legendery Bernard Herrmann who considered it to be very good.



    It doesn't dominate the movie, and as you said, it allows 'natural' noise such as the rustle of leaves, distant car engines etc to add to the mood.



    I must say that I also love the soundtrack to 'The Man Who Haunted Himself'. Everytime I watch the movie I always spend the next few days humming it. :)

  4. #4
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    Was And Soon The Darkness that good? I mostly remember sitting in the cinema and hoping Michele Dotrice would take off her bikini! (I was a young man then, you understand!) I certainly remember that distinctive Brian Clemens feel to the narrative. When I went to see it, it had the gimmick of "No-one is allowed into the cinema during the last 10 minutes of the film" and thereby spoiling the twist. Does anyone else remember this?

  5. #5
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    ++When I went to see it, it had the gimmick of "No-one is allowed into the cinema during the last 10 minutes of the film" and thereby spoiling the twist. Does anyone else remember this?++



    The trailer makes great play with that gimmick. I can't hear that "No-one is allowed in" patter without thinking of the way Michael Palin spoofed it in the "Jabbowocky" trailer :)

  6. #6
    Member Country: UK Ealingfilmfan's Avatar
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    I have "And soon the darkness" on video and like to watch it from time to time....



    Michele Dotrice is excellent, I like the extremely slow relaxed pace of the film, very "High summer in France", and the best bit is the very unexpected ending..........



    Don't miss it if you get the chance............

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ealingfilmfan
    I have "And soon the darkness" on video and like to watch it from time to time....


    Is it available on R2 dvd?

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Country: Fiji
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    Quote Originally Posted by batman

    Is it available on R2 dvd?
    Not as far as I know...



    Smudge

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    Cheers Smudge



    Bats

  10. #10
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    And Soon The Darkness.. superb film. My brother and I saw it on TV when we were kids, and it has always stayed with us, because it started off looking like it was going to be quite boring (we were hoping for the more traditional Friday night Hammer horror fare) and it ended up scaring us witless - very disturbing, in a way that only some British films made in the seventies seem to be.



    I don't know if it is the writing, the locations, the performances or even the type of film stock they used to use then, but there is something about those films that take me right back to my childhood - not that we were old enough to see them at the cinema, but they were starting to crop up on TV - we used to see some seriously good films on TV then. Late night on a Friday, or Sunday afternoon could be quite a surreal experience if you caught a slightly odd or off-kilter film - before the days of 24/7 TV schedules, those times of the week felt more sort of liminal - the cross over points between waking or sleeping, or between weekdays and weekends.



    I'm rambling a bit here - does anyone know what I mean or am I losing the plot a bit ... or maybe both.....

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Country: Fiji
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    It's that Friday night leading into Saturday morning thing ; that odd feeling you got of staying up SO late (LOL) as next day wasn't a school day. Out of sheer determination you would battle sleep and occasionally drift in and out ; I reckon that is why some of those films stayed with me so effectively - that aspect of 'half memory'... That's my take on this feeling, anyhow.



    As for AND SOON, I reckon it's that wonderul juxtaposition of carefree summer with chilling isolation ; a film where the foreign people DON'T speak English - adding to that isolated feeling. Those sweeping widescreen landscapes charming, yet simultaneously threatening....



    Cracking film !



    Smudge

  12. #12
    Member Country: UK Ealingfilmfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smudge
    It's that Friday night leading into Saturday morning thing ; that odd feeling you got of staying up SO late (LOL) as next day wasn't a school day. Out of sheer determination you would battle sleep and occasionally drift in and out ; I reckon that is why some of those films stayed with me so effectively - that aspect of 'half memory'... That's my take on this feeling, anyhow.



    As for AND SOON, I reckon it's that wonderul juxtaposition of carefree summer with chilling isolation ; a film where the foreign people DON'T speak English - adding to that isolated feeling. Those sweeping widescreen landscapes charming, yet simultaneously threatening....



    Cracking film !



    Smudge


    Agree with that 100%, one of the most "atmospheric" films ever made, especially as there's not really a lot that goes on........Gripping.....

  13. #13
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    I echo the late Peter Cook's sentiments on the use of the disused trailer park.



    As I mentioned elsewhere on another thread, I love any film that uses these strange locations as the basis for its climactic scene-and this film pretty much puts that aesthetic to good use throughout.



    I am a fan of may British thrillers and horror films for various reasons, but they all have their foibles and flaws. However, it has to be said AND SOON THE DARKNESS is one of the few that is pretty perfect throghout- even the incongruous Laurie Johnson loungecore theme seems to fit well after a couple of viewings.



    The pacing is perfect, the atmosphere is just on the right side of disquieting yet at the same time managing to remain sombre, the dialogue (in particular the scenes wher Pamela Franklin is struggling to understand French or be understood in English) crackles with invention, and the cinematography is superb. Add to all this the fact that it's actually quite scary in places, and you have a recipe for a masterpiece.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smudge
    As for AND SOON, I reckon it's that wonderful juxtaposition of carefree summer with chilling isolation ; a film where the foreign people DON'T speak English - adding to that isolated feeling. Those sweeping widescreen landscapes charming, yet simultaneously threatening....



    Cracking film !



    Smudge
    I thinking 'cracking' is being a tad over-generous. It's a very slight story, one that Clemens would have later used in Thriller with the typical twist-in-the-tail. The most preposterous aspect is that Franklin seems to bump into the most deliberately ambiguous and creepy folk in France.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: Scotland
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    Yes I remember those thighs well they certainly got my pulse racing. :)

  16. #16
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    I picked it up a year or so ago, in my 'did Pamela Franklin actually star in any decent films after Jean Brodie?' phase. It's alright I s'pose - the horror in broad daylight was a nice touch, but not a patch on the criminally neglected The Night of the Following Day (1968), made a year before the aforementioned Brodie. It's Sinful Davey I want to see (Franklin with John Hurt). Anyone got it?




  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    Recommended webpages:

    And Soon The Darkness | 1971 - British Horror Films

    The Bloody Pit of Horror: And Soon the Darkness (1970)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Brett View Post
    And Soon the Darkness used to be shown a lot in very late night slots ...
    During our childhood/teenage years it was transmitted Monday 19th January 1976, 9.25-11.00pm (on BBC1);
    Sunday 29th July 1979, 10.40pm-12.15am; and Wednesday 8th August 1984, 11.40pm-1.20am (both BBC2).

    The latter is the one I remember. While its 'sister' channel was preoccupied with their coverage of the Olympics, BBC2 was screening all sorts of rare and interesting films as an alternative. Others included Up the Sandbox, The Music Lovers and Love with the Proper Stranger (confirmed at the Genome site). I recorded all but the Barbra Streisand movie. This was at a time when Cinema really dominated my life - long before I was even aware of most of the TV shows I've collected.

    kevjo's post struck a chord. No doubt my own nostalgia for that Summer of 1984 transmission of And Soon the Darkness has helped to establish it as a favourite British film (likewise Endless Night and The Wrong Box, shown the same year). I am gradually catching up with those I wanted to see 30 years ago but very few have made a similar impact. It's as if I made up my mind by the age of 21 what my long-term favourites were going to be.

    Despite seeing many impressive films since then, my love for those I saw when I was young is stronger. Until my first DVD viewing, I had vivid memories of the theme music, the girls on their bicycles, the concerned caf� owner, the expatriate (lesbian?) woman who drives Jane to the sinister Gendarme, the old farmer, and the body in the caravan. Blow Up and The Shuttered Room are similar examples of movies-on-TV that made an impression in childhood because of their atmosphere. A decade later, it would be The Conversation and the original Cat People.

    And Soon the Darkness connections on Monday.
    Last edited by cornershop15; 10-12-16 at 09:55 PM.

  18. #18
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    And soon the darkness is on Region 2 as we have a copy.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: Ireland
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    Did anyone see the remake?..I enjoyed it, but the original is far better..The girls in the remake behave really stupidly and it's far more violent.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by midnight sheep View Post
    Did anyone see the remake?..I enjoyed it, but the original is far better..The girls in the remake behave really stupidly and it's far more violent.
    I saw it, having not seen the original since its first television screening, and I was disappointed. The tension came no where the impression I had retained from the original. I have since rewatched Fuest version and realised I was possibly too harsh on the remake. Both decent thrillers but the earlier still has the edge for me.

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