INTERRUPTED JOURNEY. British Lion, UK, 1949. Valerie Hobson, Richard Todd, Christine Norden, Tom Walls, Ralph Truman, Vida Hope, Alexander Gauge. Screenplay: Michael Pertwee. Director: Daniel Birt.


   Interrupted Journey is sort of a PG version of Fatal Attraction and a film I recommend to any man thinking of cheating on his wife.

   Richard Todd plays a struggling young writer whose wife wants him to get a job. He elects to run off with a wealthy married woman who flatters him, but as they’re preparing to leave he finds himself persecuted by doubts, nagging conscience, and the strange feeling they’re being followed.

   They board a train that happens to pass close by his house and, on impulse, he pulls the Emergency Cord, stops the train and flees back to his wife. But then…


   Well, again, it’s one of those films so full of surprising twists that I hate to tell any more. Suffice it to say that the screenwriters turn Todd’s aborted fling into a finely-honed paranoid nightmare, well-played by a bunch of folks I never heard of, and produced with that quiet, comfortable, sumptuous care typical of post-war British films at their best.

   There is, incidentally, a scene in Interrupted Journey that caught my attention for reasons I’ll discuss next time: It’s that moment that comes in about every third thriller ever made, where the Hero’s accused of Murder, the Police are coming for him, and he convinces the Heroine (in this case his doubting wife) to hide him.

   It’s done here with more intelligence than usual, and a real feeling for the poor wife’s tortured struggle with herself over how far she ought to trust her punic husband.