Actor David Hemmings made his debut as a director with this visually stunning film which explored the chain reaction of the belief of introverted anti-hero Tom Betancourt (Robert Powell) that every man should be allowed to die the way he chooses.
This theory was put to the test when his best friend took his own life as Tom sat by, looking out of the window and waiting until he was sure the suicide was successful to call the authorities.
The film then followed Tom’s subsequent relationship with the dead man’s sister, Ellen (Gayle Hunnicutt,) who he sought out using an assumed name because she had sent him a violently abusive letter enclosing a bullet, and he needed to explain.
He couldn’t do so, though, until it was too late, and then it turned out that she had known all along.
All the shadowy tension built into an enigmatically explosive climax but did not quite explain the red herrings littering the route. In spite of that, it was an interesting directorial debut for Hemmings and he extracted fine performances, particularly from Gayle Hunnicutt, who was married to Hemmings at the time.
The film was shot in Daventry in the East Midlands. It received a very limited theatrical release and then vanished virtually without a trace.
- Running Scared filming in Daventry (British Film Institute)