|The Last Page|
|Directed by||Terence Fisher|
|Produced by||Anthony Hinds|
|Written by||Frederick Knott|
|Based on||the play "The Last Page" by James Hadley Chase|
|Music by||Frank Spencer|
|Cinematography||Walter J. Harvey|
|Edited by||Maurice Rootes|
Hammer Film Productions (as "Exclusive")
|Distributed by||Lippert Pictures (USA)|
Exclusive Films (UK)
|25 January 1952|
The Last Page is also notable for being the first film made under a four-year production and distribution contract between Hammer and the US film distribution company Lippert Pictures. As in all of these films, the leading role was played by a well-known Hollywood actor supplied by Lippert to ensure familiarity with American audiences.
Ruby catches small-time crook Jeff Hart (Reynolds) trying to steal a rare book. Instead of turning him in she accepts a date with him. Bookstore manager John Harman (Brent) reprimands his attractive young clerk Ruby Bruce (Dors) for being late to work. When Harman later tries to kiss Ruby she tells Hart who forces Ruby to blackmail Harman. When he refuses to pay off, Jeff tells Ruby to write a letter to Harman's sick wife, which causes her death from a heart attack. Dazed by the tragedy, Harman gives Ruby £300 when she renews her demands. Jeff catches Ruby hiding part of the money, kills her and hides her body in a packing case. Harman discovers Ruby's body and, thinking he will be accused, flees in panic. He enlists the help of his secretary Stella (Chapman) who helps him hunt for clues. When Stella stumbles on Hart alone she is nearly killed by him but Harman arrives in time to save her. The police arrest Hart.
- George Brent as John Harman
- Marguerite Chapman as Stella Tracy
- Diana Dors as Ruby Bruce
- Meredith Edwards as Inspector Dale
- Harry Fowler as Joe, clerk
- Raymond Huntley as Clive Oliver
- Peter Reynolds as Jeffrey Hart
- Eleanor Summerfield as Vi
- Nelly Arno as Miss Rossetti
Under British law at the time, there was a quota for British films - many American movies had a British film play as a double feature. Robert Lippert distributed his films in Britain via Exclusive, the parent company of Hammer Films. He signed a deal with Hammer to make movies for the British market; they would be shot in Britain using British talent but an American star. The Last Page was the first movie. The star was George Brent who had just made FBI Girl for Lippert.
The film was also known as Murder in Safety and Blonde Blackmail. It was based on a play by James Hadley Chase and was adapted into a script by Frederick Knott who had just written Dial M for Murder.
The opening credits read "Introducing Diana Dors," although she had made her debut in The Shop at Sly Corner (1946) and been in a number of other films.
It was the first of seven crime movies Terence Fisher would direct for Hammer.
Filmink said "the best thing about it is Dors’ performance: lonely, put-about, hungry for love, insecure. The movie is never as good once her character disappears, but is still definitely worth seeking out if you like your low-budget British noirs."
- THE LAST PAGE (Lippert-Exclusive) Picture Show; London Vol. 59, Iss. 1529, (Jul 19, 1952): 10.
- Lyons, Arthur (2000). Death on the Cheap: The Lost B Movies of Film Noir!. Da Capo Press. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-306-80996-5.
- "Nelly Arno". BFI. Archived from the original on 11 July 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
- The Last Page' Scheduled New York Times 3 Nov 1952: 37.
- "FILM NEWS". Western Star (6300). Queensland, Australia. 11 March 1949. p. 3. Retrieved 12 July 2020 – via National Library of Australia.
- Axmaker, Sean. "Man Bait article". Turner Classic Movies.
- Drama: George Brent to Star in England; Don De Fore Chooses Deal on Stage Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 29 June 1951: B9.
- Schallert, E. (29 June 1951). "Drama". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 166207463.
- Spicer, Andrew (2005). "Creativity and the "B" Feature: Terence Fisher's Crime Films". Internet Archive.
- Vagg, Stephen (7 September 2020). "A Tale of Two Blondes: Diana Dors and Belinda Lee". Filmink.