The October Man (1947)

Genres - Mystery  |   Run Time - 91 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

There's so much that's good about The October Man that it's a shame it doesn't end up as a really good film, rather than a merely satisfactory one. Foremost among its assets is the wonderful John Mills. This actor always has a deep reservoir of hinted-at but unexpressed emotions that infuse his performances, and this is no exception. The character is a man filled with shame and remorse because of an accident that killed a little girl, and those emotions cast a shadow on everything he does in October. Mills plays his scenes at exactly the right pitch, offering a performance which is often quiet but always galvanizing. He' supported by an excellent cast, led by the unique and exceptional Joan Greenwood and including such stalwarts as Felix Aylmer and Joyce Carey. Where October stumbles is in it screenplay and direction. The former is uneven, with some very good scenes alternating with some not-so-good ones; it also suffers from not quite knowing how to wrap everything together in the most appropriate manner. The direction is not bad, but it's a tad too leisurely; it holds back in a few places when the film seems to want to gallop, and it never creates the level of tension that the story calls fro. Still, even with its flaws, the lesser-known October is a find for fans of psychological mystery-thrillers.