UK / Pete Walker Film Productions / 98 minutes / 1971
Writer: Murray Smith / Director: Pete Walker
With it’s starring role for the sultry Susan George, late swinging London and sunny Portugal settings as well as direction from the legendary Pete Walker Die Screaming, Marianne could just be about the best cult schlocker you’ll ever see.
George is just gorgeous as the titular Marianne (especially in the brilliantly bad opening go-go dancing over the opening titles sequence), a young woman who holds the key to a fortune hidden away by her dead mother, she takes to the beaches and discos of Portugal to try and stay one step ahead of her evil father the Judge (leo Genn) who plans to bump her off to get his grubby hands on her fortune.
After falling for a dodgy character called Sebastian (Christopher Sanford) Marianne finds herself back in England, her new husband has some sinister plans of his own and its up to his best friend Eli (Barry Evans who had made his name in 1967’s Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush and was then a major TV star thanks to the Doctor in the House series) to try and save Marianne.
Of course this being an exploitation psycho thriller, menace is never far away. Director Pete Walker would go on to far more gruseome excesses throughout the seventies but is relatively restrained here. We’ve got a particular soft spot for early seventies UK kitsch movies anyway and this is one of those that is often talked about but never really seen that often so if you do get chance to see it then take a punt it’s worth it if only to allow yourself to be dazzled by George’s pouty lips and outrageous dancing techniques!
The movie was made in 1970 but not released in 1971, also there is an 84 minute cut version floating around.
Susan George as Marianne Evans
Barry Evans as Eli Frome
Christopher Sandford as Sebastian Smith
Judy Huxtable as Hildegard
Leo Genn as The Judge
Kenneth Hendel as Rodriguez
Paul Stassino as Portugese Police Detective
Alan Curtis as Sloopy’s Manager
Anthony Sharp as Registrar
John Laurimore, Martin Wyldeck as British Detectives