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HAMMER'S 'STOP ME BEFORE I KILL' AKA 'THE FULL TREATMENT'

Claude Dauphin and Ronald Lewis in THE FULL TREATMENT Year: 1960 Rates: ***1/2

For a lovely, talented Australian actress (who worked mostly in England), Diane Cilento made a horribly annoying French girl in an otherwise edgy, deliberately nervewracking film by director Val Guest working again for Hammer...

And THE FULL TREATMENT was retitled STOP ME BEFORE I KILL probably because it didn't sound... Hammery enough... but like Guest's HELL IS A CITY, it's not horror but neo noir... 

Claude Dauphin and Ronald Lewis in THE FULL TREATMENT

And a slowburn Hitchcockian-style thriller where the camera flows creatively within interior (and some exterior) spaces from several counties, winding up in the London apartment of determined shrink Dr. Prade...

Played by stout French character-actor Claude Dauphin, he's visually the polar opposite of tall, handsome British leading man Ronald Lewis as a race car driver who, psychologically damaged from a roadside accident,  fulfills that spookier alternate title by, whenever passion ignites, attempting to strangle his blonde wife...

Claude Dauphin and Ronald Lewis in THE FULL TREATMENT

Not a reach since her shrieking fake-French accent is as unnerving as the deliberately frantic plot-line, which ultimately involves only the men going head-to-head through a mostly verbal TREATMENT that makes the racer fight for sanity, while the mystery remains on the doctor's underline motives...

He's resiliently helpful yet manipulative... with a touch of the sophisticated Bond villain (Diane Cilento was engaged to Sean Connery at the time) right down to a purring lap cat... and, overall, for a flawed theatrical feature, Guest actually succeeds in bringing a visually page-turning stage play to life.

Claude Dauphin in THE FULL TREATMENT aka STOP ME BEFORE I KILL
Diane Cilento in THE FULL TREATMENT aka STOP ME BEFORE I KILL
Ronald Lewis in THE FULL TREATMENT
Diane Cilento in THE FULL TREATMENT aka STOP ME BEFORE I KILL
Ronald Lewis in THE FULL TREATMENT with Bernard Braden
THE FULL TREATMENT with Claude Dauphin
Diane Cilento in THE FULL TREATMENT w/ Claude Dauphin and Ronald Lewis
Diane Cilento in THE FULL TREATMENT with Ronald Lewis

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