I watched 1953’s The Large Rope on Netflix Streaming because I was attracted by “the large” at the front of the title. The world of noir LOVES titles containing “the big” (The Big Heat, The Big Knife, The Big Combo, The Big Clock), so I figured The Large Rope would be kinda in their mold, only British. I was dead wrong – it’s actually a paranoid pastoral piece effectively acted and wound tightly around a scenic English village. It’s no noir, but The Large Rope is a fantastic little crime film that addresses the persecuting powers of suspicion and rumor mills (in a small town that has an actual mill).
I had read in a blurb once that the post-war film The Blue Lamp was a “landmark” in the history of the British crime film. The writer stated that this is because it introduced the character of George Dixon, who came to represent the ideals of the British police force in the TV series Dixon of Dock Green (1955-76). What the blurb failed to mention was how much of a mediocre, cop ass-kissing film The Blue Lamp is. It gains a little steam during the second half, when the manhunt for a cop killer kicks off, but overall the film fails to explore the psychology of both its cops and criminals – resulting in a drab crime and punishment melodrama that had me ticking down its running time.