AND NO ONE COULD SAVE HER
UK, 1972, minutes, Colour.
Lee Remick, Milo O' Shea, Frank Grimes, Jennie Linden.
Directed by Kevin Billington.
And No One Could Save Her comes from the lyrics of the Irish song, "Molly Malone". It has an eerie tone and this is a conventional eerie thriller. However, it is a quality telemovie thriller from the Irish locations and their use, the atmosphere of Dublin, the attractive performance of Lee Remick as the harassed heroine and a very enjoyable characterisation by Milo O' Shea. Director is Kevin Billington, maker of such films as Interlude and The Light at the Edge of the World. The film is brief, has a familiar ring about it in the distraught wife looking for a missing husband but it is all done with style and a good score by Ron Grainer.
1. The appeal of the thriller, the mystery? Characters in mystery stories, audience identification, fear, resolutions? The quality of this thriller?
2. The telemovie atmosphere of the film, the introduction of characters, situations, suspense ? for home viewing and commercial interruption?
3. The British qualities of the film? The use of Irish and especially Dublin locations? The international stars? The special effects? The contribution of the score and its atmosphere?
4. How did the film establish the basic plot? The introduction to Fern in her Boston background, wealth, shyness, seclusion? Sam as her husband, Irish, his need to go to Ireland? The importance of appearances and realities and the audience judgment on these?
5. Lee Remick's presence as Fern, her style, an heiress, her love for her husband, dependence on him, her panic, her reaction to the investigator? Her pills, phoning the airways, her decision to go to Ireland? The audience sharing her surprise as things happened? Her growing desperation?
6. Milo O' Shea's performance as Dooley? Characterisation, style? The Irish way of speaking, the exaggeration, drinking, humour? O' Toole as his assistant? His encounter with Fern, suspicions of her, listening to her, help? The investigations for the passport, at the school, the father, Moira? His skill in detection? The confrontation at the end?
7. The gallery of minor characters and their contribution? The lady at the passport office, the Principal of the school and the teacher who remembered the boy, the father? The American investigator? The incidental sequences, as Dooley in the restaurant, the woman behind the desk at the hotel etc.? Contribution to atmosphere and authenticity?
8. Moira and her presence as the maid, her appearing as Terence's wife? Her sweetness to Fern, the taking of the pills, the staging of the incidents? Her sharing her husband's plot? The discovery of the truth by Dooley?
9. Sam and his emergence, his luring Fern to the top of the stairs, the ugliness of the telling of the truth, the threat of death? Greed?
10. The melodrama of the climax and the ending? The audience thinking Fern was killed?
11. A satisfying thriller, audience identification with the characters, the atmosphere of nightmare, real or fantasy, audience sympathies and judgments?