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ROBERT BEATTY WITH TERRY MOORE IN 'POSTMARK FOR DANGER'

Title: POSTMARK FOR DANGER Year: 1955 Rating: **

Twenty years before Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, involving a first-act where scientists William Sylvester and Robert Beatty are figuring out an enigmatic presence on the moon, the pair was grounded as polar opposite siblings in the mystery/thriller POSTMARK FOR DANGER...

Which was originally titled PORTRAIT OF ALISON, a reworking of the classic film noir LAURA in which a cop falls for a dead woman from a painting who, it turns out, is very alive...

Geoffrey Keen with William Sylvester and Robert Beatty in POSTMARK FOR DANGER

Instead of a cop he's an artist in Beatty's Tim Forrester, while Sylvester plays a smug pilot named Jim... and the resurrected dame is MIGHTY JOE YOUNG ingenue Terry Moore, who should have appeared mysteriously, like Gene Tierney, but by the time she's revealed to the painter, we've already witnessed her ruining a portrait commissioned by her grieving father...

It's all rather complicated, and with such a great cast including future James Bond "M" Geoffrey Keen and a lovely yet doomed Josephine Griffin, POSTMARK goes through the motions without any real surprises or revelations...

Terry Moore and Robert Beatty in POSTMARK FOR DANGER

Overall, Moore lacks spark while Canadian and American actors Beatty and Sylvester, working primarily in English films, are better suited for secondary or character roles.... Beatty in particular, far more suited for villains and simply too benign for the romantic lead...

Meanwhile British-born William Lucas, beginning an eclectic crime-genre career ranging from bad guys to heroes to cowards, is underused as a smarmy car salesman, part of a diamond smuggling ring that never feels very threatening... to the characters or the audience.

William Lucas in POSTMARK FOR DANGER with Robert Beatty
William Lucas in POSTMARK FOR DANGER with Robert Beatty
William Lucas in POSTMARK FOR DANGER

Robert Beatty and William Sylvester in POSTMARK FOR DANGER
Robert Beatty and William Sylvester in 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and POSTMARK FOR DANGER
Robert Beatty and William Sylvester in POSTMARK FOR DANGER
William Sylvester in POSTMARK FOR DANGER
Robert Beatty in POSTMARK FOR DANGER
Josephine Griffin in POSTMARK FOR DANGER

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