The October Man

Director: Roy Ward Baker
Year Released: 1947
Rating: 1.5

A chemist (John Mills) gets in an bus accident that leaves him brain damaged - after several suicide attempts he tries to get his life back in order (and his career restarted), but following the murder of a woman who lives in the same hotel as him, he is quickly looked upon as a suspect. Sub-Hitchcock 'innocent man' movie has little drive - Baker's approach is distant and murky, and the screenplay could have used a lot more work: not only is the evidence against the Mills character weak, but to initiate the third act, a neighbor in the hotel freely admits to committing the crime ... and then promptly takes off for Lisbon (which allows for a rather half-hearted 'chase' sequence). Mills is given so very little to work with on this one (no David Lean to help him out, I'm afraid): to suggest inner torment he goes to a bridge and keeps threatening to jump, but thankfully his love interest (British cinema stalwart Joan Greenwood) believes his every word and sticks to his side. Hooray for Joan Greenwood.