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BRITISH NEW WAVE CRIME MELODRAMA OF 'A MATTER OF CHOICE'

Penny Morrell in A MATTER OF CHOICE Year: 1963 Rating: ***1/2

If A MATTER OF CHOICE didn't rely on the titular melodramatic fateful inevitability premise, it would more smoothly summarize the British New Wave of the 1960's, liken to THE LONELINESS OF A LONG DISTANCE RUNNER had Tom Courtenay and James Bolam never been arrested since the best scenes involve two young men just hanging out...

Herein lifted from Leopold and Loeb-inspired ROPE and COMPULSION as these fellas seem more interested in each other than women... and their goal to find the perfect chick's more a dare than possible conquest... 

Marie Noël  and Lisa Peake and Malcolm Gerard in A MATTER OF CHOICE

Malcolm Gerald and Michael Davis play the flamboyant alpha and beta males going from a diner to their adjoined apartments to a swinging jazz club, before which our cocky alpha (resembling a wimpy version of Maximilian Schell) targets squeaky-voiced SMOKESCREEN starlet Penny Morrell...

Their scene in Gerald's modern art bachelor pad is a standout; leading to gorgeous blonde Marie Noël as a French waitress in a nightclub with that period's blaring-jazz, coinciding with composer Robert Sharples doing his best John Barry BEAT GIRL impression...

Anthony Steel and Jeanne Moody in A MATTER OF CHOICE

Then the inevitable MATTER that takes up the entire second half as the boys accidentally (fatefully) connect with thirty-something lovers Anthony Steel and Jeanne Moody: she's cheating on her old rich husband and he's a handsome square-jawed dreamer...

Resulting in an accident that wounds a cop (via the boys), an even more wounded Steel (also from the boys), and that cheating dame's inevitable Noirish Guilt Trip, that, dragging far too long, puts a damper on the freewheeling good times leading up: Making CHOICE a far better time-filler than crime thriller. 

Penny Morrell and Malcolm Gerald in A MATTER OF CHOICE
Marie Noël  and Lisa Peake and Malcolm Gerard in A MATTER OF CHOICE
Marie Noël  and Lisa Peake and Michael Davis in A MATTER OF CHOICE
Marie Noël and Michael Davis in A MATTER OF CHOICE with Malcolm Gerald
Marie Noël and Michael Davis in A MATTER OF CHOICE
Malcolm Gerald and Penny Morrell in A MATTER OF CHOICE
Jeanne Moody in A MATTER OF CHOICE
Lisa Peake and Penny Morrell in A MATTER OF CHOICE
A Matter of Time Double Feature with Jungle Street one of our all time favorites

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