…To master of one
in J. Lee Thompson
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Based closely on his own successful stage play, Lee Thompson's Murder Without Crime is a confident but largely unadventurous first step in film making. Lee Thompson clearly signposts Murder Without Crime as a tall story, a macabre entertainment with enough Grand Guignol to grip the spectators in the stalls and enough ironic self-awareness to please the more intellectual patrons in the circle. Lee Thompson's debut box (or ottoman) of tricks went out on the ABC circuit as a double bill with an American film about a GI finding romance in Europe, Four Days Leave. Although the cutting room remained sacrosanct, directors of Lee Thompson's generation had more influence over the final cut of a picture than their predecessors. The Yellow Balloon may be frustratingly limited in its social critique, but as a piece of film making it was rightly praised for its performances and technical proficiency.

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