Scranton’s Lizabeth Scott headlined in British thriller

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First Posted: 3/19/2015

Scranton’s Lizabeth Scott was nearly at the end of her career when she popped up in “The Weapon” (1956, Olive, unrated, $25), a fast, unpretentious action thriller set in Post-War London.

If you’re a fan of the husky-voiced femme fatale who slinked her way through film noirs like “Dead Reckoning” and “Too Late For Tears,” it’s something of a shock to see her as a normal, everyday mom.

Looking much older than she looked just two years earlier in the western drama “Silver Lode,” Scott is one of a handful of characters desperately searching for a youngster (Jon Whiteley) who, in the film’s opening scene, accidentally shoots a playmate with a pistol he found in the rubble of a bombed-out building.

The gun turns out to be the murder weapon in the slaying of a military officer ten years earlier. Enter a gruff American captain (Steve Cochrane) who joins Scott in a search for her missing youngster. Also on the boy’s trail is the bad guy who perpetrated the murder which Cochrane is trying to solve.

It’s all pretty straightforward but director Val Guest wisely sets the action on the meaner streets on London where a nefarious type seems to lurk around every corner. The urban setting is so sinister, in fact, it recalls the Vienna of Carol Reed’s “The Third Man.”

While “The Weapon” isn’t the best showcase for Scott, who passed away on Jan. 31 at age 92, it does give her an opportunity to play against type. Sadly, thanks in part to a scandal created by Confidential Magazine (which implied she was gay), the actress would only appear in two more features: “Loving You” with Elvis Presley in 1957 and “Pulp” with Michael Caine in 1971.