The Innocent Sleep

Between the director and the cinematographer (a pair of gilded amateurs) this never had a chance. It’s all right when deeply skilled actors are on screen, but when the youthful players lumber into frame, utterly abandoned by a helpless regista, they make you pine, really pine, for Thunderbirds.

Night exteriors are lit with colored gels to paint the city anything but red, until the lurid dawn comes as a relief to what is, no doubt, a film school thesis. At least there’s no “slo-mo” (that dreary second thought) but genuine slow motion, as well as a Steadicam to prove the poverty was all in the technique.

Hitchcock did it to perfection in Frenzy, and putting down the Freemasons seems rather an odd contribution to the global economy. But don’t they all?

Michael Gambon, Graham Crowden and Franco Nero lend themselves to it with great generosity.