Women who lie in gaol
in J. Lee Thompson
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By the spring of 1953 it was clear that British cinema had found a film-maker who could handle the technical demands of the thriller in a cinematic rather than a purely theatrical fashion. With The Yellow Balloon, Lee Thompson had demonstrated an aptitude for visual storytelling and a flair for imaginative shot composition while coaxing compelling performances from his actors. Late in 1952 he noticed a new book from Victor Gollancz which was causing a stir, reaching its fifth impression within two months of publication. It may be a worn-flat cliché, but this was to be the book that changed Lee Thompson's life. He read the book called Who Lie in Gaol by Joan Henry, and fell in love with her. Lee Thompson quickly set to work with Joan Henry and Anne Burnaby to develop a screenplay which would blend social criticism and melodrama with the leavening ingredient of comedy.

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