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Crescendo (1970)

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Starring:

Status: In Release

Category: Film

Genre: Thriller

Language: English

Running time: TBA

Directed by: Alan Gibson

Written by: Alfred Shaughnessy

Produced by: Michael Carreras

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Synopsis

An innocent project transforms into a perilous nightmare when researcher Susan Roberts arrives in France in search of information on a deceased composer. She contacts his widow whose mental deterioration, precipitated by the death of her husband, manifests itself in psychotic dementia. The young woman's arrival triggers an obsessive desire to marry her crippled son to Susan, ensuring by this union that the genius of the father will be passed on to future generations.


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Professor_Petrie

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25 Jan 2012, 10:46am

One of the last of Hammer's psychological Thrillers, CRESCENDO deserves somewhat more than the dismissive treatment it has received. Evidently the project was designed as a starring vehicle for the still-potent Joan Crawford. La Crawford's incomparable presence, dramatic strength and star power might have made something memorable of this minor piece, and the thought of her following Bette Davis into the Hammer fold is delicious to contemplate, but alas! it was not to be. When the film eventually came to production, the role intended for Joan Crawford was taken by Margaretta Scott. The absence of a star presence pretty much spelled doom for the whole show, but the final blow was the miscasting of offensively hammy American actor James Olson, who had previously helped to sink Hammer's MOON ZERO TWO. On the plus side, director Alan Gibson (of TV's THE AVENGERS) lent his slick, superficial brand of flash to wake the depressing movie from its doldrums. The one true saving grace is the committed and energetic performance of the always excellent Stefanie Powers, in her second and last Hammer thriller following the outstanding FANATIC opposite Tallulah Bankhead. The result is a watchable, if unmemorable, minor melodrama, unworthy of the Hammer name but interesting as a forerunner of the later Hammer television series. Tellingly, the film's U.S. release was delayed for two years before being unceremoniously dumped in support of Gibson's DRACULA A.D. 1972. (One can only pass in silence over the thought of Joan Crawford, Ralph Bates and Martine Beswicke...) 6/10 AVERAGE.