In Yield to the Night Diana Dors, convicted of the murder of socialite Mercia Shaw, who’s dumping of Dors’ lover Michael Craig caused his suicide, reflects on her life as she awaits execution, numb and dazed at her fate but too proud to accept offers of sympathy from her family. A powerful indictment of capital punishment, it also sees Dors at her dramatic best, in a harrowing and distinctly unglamourous role that demonstrated her considerable dramatic skill.
As the Daily Express said at the time, “It is Dors’ job to show a once brittle and superficial girl disintegrating beneath the overwhelming realisation that something terrible is about to happen to her, something bigger than her ordinary little imagination has ever encompassed.” The film was one of the hits at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival, thanks to Thompson’s directorial skill, Gilbert Taylor’s stark cinematography and, of course, the continuing debate about Ruth Ellis, hanged just a year before the film was released.
US title: Blonde Sinner
Country: UK | Associated British Pictures | 99 minutes
Release Year: 1956
Director: J. Lee Thompson
Writers: John Cresswell, Joan Henry
Diana Dors as Mary Price Hilton
Yvonne Mitchell as Matron Hilda MacFarlane
Michael Craig as Jim Lancaster
Mary Mackenzie as Matron
Marjorie Rhodes as Matron Brandon
Liam Redmond as Prison Doctor
Olga Lindo as Senior Matron Hill
Joan Miller as Matron Barker
Athene Seyler as Miss Bligh
Geoffrey Keen as Prison Chaplain
Mona Washbourne as Mrs. Thomas, landlady
Marie Ney as Prison Governess
Dandy Nichols as Mrs. Price
John Charlesworth as Alan Price
Alec Finter as Mr. Thomas, landlord
Molly Urquhart as Mason
Harry Locke as Fred
Michael Ripper as Roy
Joyce Blair as Doris
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