Bond of Fear (1956)
Now, everyone (or at least nearly everyone) loves Cape Fear: The idea of a dangerous criminal, putting a perfectly ordinary family in danger and forcing the father to toughen up to protect his loved ones. Who wouldn't? Such tales pepper literature and cinema since, so the thinking goes, everyman wants to be the saviour and every woman wants to be the damsel in distress, rescued by the man she never thought could be a hero.
Well, think of Bond of Fear as a sort of British Cape Fear. Except that it has moved from the southern states of the USA to the West Midlands. And is completely rubbish.
It's the story of a happy family man (Dermot Walsh), his wife (Jane Barrett) and their cheerful children (Anthony Pavey & Marilyn Baker):
They are the cosy, middle class, mid-1950s, happy family of the sort whose tales occupied children's books when I was growing up (that was in the seventies, but we made do with old books). They even have the symbol of fifties fashion, a caravan:
But their idyllic life is thrown into chaos when their world collides with that of Dewar (John Colicos), a man on the run from the law:
And when these two worlds collide ...
|Dermot Walsh & John Colicos|
... you know things are going to turn bad:
Except, of course, that this being a nice little film, they don't turn too bad at all. You just know their has to be a happy ending and family life returns to normal:
So why would you watch this film? Well, it's full on raincoat porn: you like 1950s raincoats, here's a chance to see them in all their glory:
And if that's not enough, I can offer you Bill Shine and Avril Angers as the comic relief:
Still not enough to tempt you. How about this? Dermot Walsh and John Colicos both wear very similar sports jackets in flecked wool. I think Walsh's is nicer, but that's only fair - he is the hero:
I suspect that's still not enough.
Bond of Fear is currently available on a double DVD with Blackout - another not very good film.
Two films that are just for the completists or the lover of the not very good British film.