WriterJohn Gilling, Francis Searle, John Dickson Carr Release dateJanuary 1950 (UK) Music directorFrank Spencer, Rupert Grayson CastBetty Ann Davies (Bertha Clavering), Sheila Burrell (Janice), Sid James (Henry Clavering / Hodson), Anthony Forwood (Victor Harrington), Hazel Penwarden (Joan Clavering), Valentine Dyall (Story Teller / Narrator) Similar moviesI Love a Mystery, The Devil's Mask, The Unknown, Myrt And Marge, The Shadow, Dick Barton: Special Agent
Man in Black is a 1949 British thriller film directed by Francis Searle and starring Betty Ann Davies, Sheila Burrell and Sid James. It was adapted by Hammer Films from the popular British radio series Appointment with Fear featuring Valentine Dyall. Dyall (The "Man in Black" of the radio series) here provides the on screen introduction to the film, as "The Story-Teller".
Henry Clavering suspects his second wife Bertha is trying to drive his daughter (by his first marriage) insane, to stop her inheriting his money. He decides to use his yoga skills to pretend to be dead, and thereby expose her villainy.
After the death of her yogi father during a freak "yoga accident", Joan Clavering returns home to her widowed and suddenly very wealthy step-mother Bertha. The latter conspires with her daughter Janice to drive Joan insane and deprive her of her rightful inheritance.
What the Butler Saw (1950). Captain Kronos â€“ Vampire Hunter (1974). Sid James appears in Man in Black and The Flanagan Boy. The Quatermass Xperiment (1955). The Last Page (1952).
TV Guide wrote, "The story is drivel, with some unintentionally campy plot developments. It was adapted from a British radio series, perhaps proving that some dramas are better heard than seen."
Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings wrote, "One of Hammers earlier forays into horror. This one is highly recommended."
Leonard Maltin called it a "clever little thriller with some surprises and a rare noncomic role for James."