Sunday, 7 August 2011

No Sweet Delight

‘Endless Night’ was adapted from an Agatha Christie novel, and reunites Hayley and Hywel for their third film together (prior to ‘Twisted Nerve’ they’d co-starred in gentle sex comedy ‘The Family Way’).
Mills is the megarich heiress with a delicate constitution, Bennett the upwardly mobile hustler with a disturbed past. When they meet, and marry, it sets off a chain of strange events that culminate in Mills’ death, seemingly as a result of a curse. There’s more to it than that, of course, and Britt Ekland is involved, so there’s bound to be some wrongdoing somewhere down the line.
‘Endless Night’ is a fairly straightforward thriller, but it’s well done, the supernatural elements are a refreshing addition and the tension builds nicely. Of particular interest is the design of ‘Gypsy's Acre’, the house they build and move into, a modernist dream of panoramic windows, open plan rooms and an indoor swimming pool with a radio controlled retractable cover. 
Towards the end of the film, the newly widowed Bennett climbs the hill to Gypsy Acre to take sole possession, only to encounter the ghost of Mills, an awful, fixed, expectant look on her dead face, completely unaware of his presence, standing guard for all eternity over the place she loved. It’s open to interpretation whether the encounter takes place in Bennett’s mind or not, but it’s an image that stays lodged in the viewer’s head long after the film ends.  
The title, by the way, is a quotation from William Blake’s 1803 poem ‘Auguries of Innocence’ which, set to music by the venerable Bernard Herrmann, is mimed by Mills at the harpsichord:  ‘Every night and every morn, some to misery are born. Every morn and every night, some are born to sweet delight. Some are born to sweet delight, some are born to endless night.’ Indeed they are, Mr. Blake, indeed they are.

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