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Nothing but the Best Reviews

Ellin wrote some of the best and mostchilling short stories ever, including the famous "Specialty of the House" that was made into an eerie Alfred Hitchcock half-hour. He is not given his due in this spotty adaptation by Raphael, who is usually much better than he is here. Bates is a lower-class real estate clerk who aspires to move up the ladder. He will stop at nothing to achieve social status and hires Elliott, a degenerate character, to teach him manners and deportment suitable for the upper-crust society that Bates means to crack. Elliott instructs Bates (the way Higgins did with Eliza) in all the niceties, and Bates moves in on his boss's daughter, Martin. Her father, Andrews, watches carefully as Bates makes his calculated approach. Martin sees right through Bates, but Bates is handsome and is lots more fun than the twits who surround the girl. After Elliott wins a bundle at the races, he is of a mind to blow the whistle on Bates, who puts an end to those thoughts by putting an end to Elliott. He strangles Elliott with his necktie and, with the help of landlady Delany (who is smitten by Bates), stows the body in a huge trunk and hides it in her basement. With Elliott out of the way, Bates continues to woo Martin and soon marries her. While the couple is honeymooning, Delany sells her property and takes a trip to South Africa. Bates and Martin return--Bates confident that he has achieved everything he set out to do, as he has been made Andrews's partner as well as his son-in-law. The smile soon dissolves when he sees that Delany's house is being razed by workmen, and the picture ends as Bates watches and winces and worries about the discovery of Elliott's body. This picture aspires to be a comedy in the grand tradition of KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS, but Bates has neither the comedic skill nor the kind of sex appeal required to pull it off. Martin is beautiful and does what she can with the slim material given her. Good cinematography from Roeg who went on to be a confusing director.