The Naked Edge (1961)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Thriller  |   Run Time - 99 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom , United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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A Hitchcock film that is unfortunately lacking Hitchcock, The Naked Edge is a moderately entertaining suspenser, despite numerous flaws. The real culprits in this "whodunit" are the writer and the director, who must share the blame for the majority of Naked's failings. The screenplay, as appropriate for the genre, is quite intricately plotted; yet there are a number of plot holes that are quite bothersome, and the ending is a bit of a letdown. The plot holes would not necessarily have been so noticeable had director Michael Anderson kept his work taut and gripping. Instead, he directs at a pace that lags when it needs to sprint, allowing plenty of time for the plot problems to gnaw at the viewer. In addition, many of the situations feel forced and the dialogue contrived. Again, better direction could have glossed over this to an extent, but Anderson's is not subtle enough to keep the viewer from feeling manipulated by the contrivances. Still, there are a number of set pieces that do work, and while Gary Cooper is a bit wan in his final film, Deborah Kerr is in very fine form, carrying much of the film on her slender shoulders. She's aided by a very good supporting cast that includes Eric Portman, Diane Cilento, and Hermione Gingold. Naked is not the film it wants to be, but the cast make it a decent enough little thriller.