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OLIVER REED IN HAMMER FILMS 'PARANOIAC' WITH JANETTE SCOTT

Poster for PARANOIAC Year: 1963 Rating: ****

If Terence Fisher was the Universal Classic Monsters version of England's HAMMER FILMS then Freddie Francis was their Hitchcock, and PARANOIAC one of Hammer's best psychological thrillers, providing stock actor Oliver Reed a grand performance, showcasing what would become his two signature traits: moody brooding and overboard intensity: He's the brother of troubled, haunted ingenue Jeanette Scott, set to inherit a bundle (strictly overseen by an aunt and family lawyer), holed up in the family's sea-cliff estate, but not if Reed (with moll Liliane Brousse) can help it...

And while mostly working alone, he's not alone in agenda: The leading man is a con artist, which we learn soon enough for PARANOIAC to not quite reach Mystery-genre status: But those fifteen minutes when handsome Alexander Davion may or may not be her adored prodigal brother are the most intriguing: After which, coinciding with the kind of quick-split editing wherein everything beforehand meant only how the scene abruptly ends, Reed and his boisterous persona takes over, making this a frantic game of wits using creative camera angles within a shadowy B&W aesthetic that'd perfectly suit Film Noir... and it's only five years shy of being one — for then it'd get a lot more praise and attention beyond the lot of We the faithfully dedicated/eternal Hammerheads. 

Liliane Brousse and Anthony Davion in PARANOIAC
Liliane Brousse and Janette Scott in PARANOIAC
Oliver Reed in PARANOIAC
Oliver Reed in PARANOIAC
Janette Scott in PARANOIAC
Janette Scott in PARANOIAC
Oliver Reed's moll Liliane Brousse in PARANOIAC
Oliver Reed in PARANOIAC

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