Fragment of Fear

Date: 1970
Director: Richard C. Sarafian
Production Company: Columbia Pictures Corporation

Stars: David Hemmings, Gayle Hunnicutt, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Flora Robson, Adolfo Celi, Roland Culver, Daniel Massey
Location(s): Campania (Italy), London, Sussex

Region(s): , ,


A young writer recovering from drug addiction begins to investigate the murder of his aunt but his world is soon turned upside down.

Additional Information:

Screen captures by Phil Wilkinson with Italian sequence identifications and comparison shots by Simon James

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The titles end with this view of the ruined Temple of Apollo in the ancient Roman town of Pompeii near Naples, Campania.

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And this is what the Temple looks like now..

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At a smart hotel, Bruno (Angelo Infanti) the waiter begins to chat up a pair of American guests (Louise Lambert and Jessica Dublin). This is the Hotel Grand Europa Palace at Via Correale 34/36, Sorrento in Campania.

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Looking out over the Bay of Naples more recently.

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Hotel Manager Signor Bardoni (Adolfo Celi) looks on disapprovingly.

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Simon found that the lions have been relocated to the main entrance to the hotel.

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Mrs. Lucy Dalton (Flora Robson) appears on the terrace and tells her nephew Tim Brett (David Hemmings) that she had breakfast in bed whist finishing his book. The Hotel Grand Europa Palace.

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Not quite ready for breakfast at the moment.

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Sitting down beside Tim, Lucy speaks about the work inspired by his struggle against drug addiction. The Hotel Grand Europa Palace in Sorrento on the the Sorrentine Peninsula.

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Moving to bring the steps to the terrace into view.

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The reformed addict explains that it's been less than two years since he became clean with the help of psychiatrists and doctors.

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A further view of the Bay of Naples.

As Mrs. Dawson makes her way to Mass, Tour Guide Mario (Massimo Sarchielli) escorts a group of Schoolgirls through the remains of Pompeii's Macellum. Simon, being a Latin Master, explains that this was Pompeii's Meat Market.

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A similar, more modern view.

Mario holds the gate open for Juliet Bristow (Gayle Hunnicutt) as she follows her class. Inside the Macellum, off the Forum in Pompeii.

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Only a muddy puddle for Simon to photograph.

The Tour Guide explains that bones were found during excavations.

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The Macellum on the north east side of Pompeii.

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While the Girls follow Mario on his tour route, Juliet notices a shoe lying on the ground nearby.

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From a similar viewpoint.

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The Schoolteacher screams as her gaze falls upon the body of Mrs. Dawson at the foot of a short flight of steps.

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Nothing to see here now.

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As Tim arrives on the scene sightseers are being held back while Police and an Ambulance Crew attend to his deceased Aunt. This is Via delle Tombe at the Porta di Ercolano in Pompeii.

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The same, very recognisable thoroughfare.

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Distraught and shocked, Tim looks down at the body. More of Via delle Tombe at the Porta di Ercolano.

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A less crowded view of Via delle Tombe in Pompeii.

A Policeman moves everyone on as Mrs. Dawson is taken away. Via delle Tombe in Pompeii.

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The plaster panel on the right hand side is sufficient proof.

Resting nearby, Mario explains to Tim that it was Juliet who found the body.

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The same location almost forty years later, well it's lasted a while already.

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A horse drawn hearse comes to a stand at the cemetery gate as the funeral of Lucy Dawson takes place.

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Signor Bardoni and Tim Brett are the only mourners.

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Tim reads a note from 'The Stepping Stones' that Signor Bardoni had thrown into a waste bin after removing it from a floral tribute.

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Travelling back to England, Tim makes his way to the Esplanade Hotel in fictional Burlington on Sea. Phil Bailey recognised this as the Esplanade at Seaford in Sussex.

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Phil B took this view looking east on the Esplanade to Seaford Head from a position that would originally have been in front of the hotel.

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Arriving at the hotel, the young writer enters to speak with his Aunt's executor, Mrs. Gray. Phil Bailey advises that the hotel was the Esplanade Hotel which became run down before being badly damaged by fire in 1976 and subsequently demolished.

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As Tim walks along the sea front with friend of his Aunt Mr. Vellacot, Mrs. Gray (Mona Washbourne) looks down from the hotel. The former Esplanade Hotel in Seaford located by Phil Bailey.

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Returning to London, Tim enters his flat and discovers that a note given to him by a Woman on the train to Victoria warning him against investigating his Aunt's death was typed on his own typewriter.

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When Sergeant Matthews (Derek Newark) arrives to tell Tim that the Woman on the train has made a complaint about him, the author shows the note that she handed over.

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A tube train brings Tim and his fiancée Juliet into the centre of London. This is the Waterloo & City Line's platform 7 at Bank station on Cornhill EC3. The station features in 'On the Beat', 'Silver Dream Racer', 'Tube Tales', 'Otley' and 'The Mackintosh Man'.

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Same platform, different train. (PW)

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On the way from the platform a man in a hurry, Mr. Nugent (Arthur Lowe), pushes past the couple. The Trav-O-lator™ linking the Waterloo & City Line platforms with the booking hall at Bank station.

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Yes, it runs the other way now. (PW)

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The two leave the station and make for a pharmacy to buy Disprin. This is Chancery Lane station in WC1 and the exit is at the corner of Gray's Inn Road and Holborn.

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The station entrance hasn't altered much. (PW)

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After he's recognised by Joe, a drug addict and former friend in the shop, Tim sends Juliet home by cab.

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At the end of a nearby alley, Tim joins a group of people who are watching a Junkie inject himself. This is Holborn at the corner of Holborn Buildings, an narrow alley since lost to redevelopment.

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More space, but less character maybe. (PW)

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Mr. Copsey (Wilfrid Hyde-White) listens as Tim tells him about his forthcoming marriage to Juliet at St. Barthrop's church on Cromwell Road.

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Tim wanders through darkened streets after being questioned about the death of the Woman from the train and being told by a CID Superintendent that Sergeant Matthews doesn't exist. Warwick House Street off Cockspur Street in SW1.

Behind him, a car's headlights flare into life as he crosses the road. This is facing west on Warwick House Street and Simon points out that the fascia board in the background reads Carlton Mews.

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This is what greets the eyes now on Warwick House Street. (PW)

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As the car speeds towards him, Tim runs into a derelict mews. Identified by SJ, the long demolished Carlton Mews also appears in 'Bunny Lake is Missing', 'Count Five and Die' and 'Murder Without Crime'.

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Two Men appear, knocking Tim to the ground before placing a loaded syringe in his hand. Carlton Mews was sandwiched between Warwick House Street and Carlton House Mews.

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Tim makes contact with Mr. Nugent at the Home Office. Looking towards King Charles Street from Horse Guards Road SW1 with the statue of Sir Robert Clive at the head of Clive Steps.

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Apart from the modern cars, the scene is almost identical. (PW)

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Mr. Nugent accompanies Tim as they walk through St. James's Park to a luncheon appointment with Major Ricketts. Facing north on the footpath running adjacent to Horse Guards Road in St. James's Park.

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Haven't those leaves been swept up yet? (PW)

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Mr. Nugent points out the Major before returning to his office. In the left distance stands Duck Island Cottage in St. James's Park.

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Somebody else was also taking an interest in the background cottage. (PW)

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Following lunch, Major Ricketts (Daniel Massey) buys a couple of flags from a Charity Fundraiser (Mabel Etherington) outside the restaurant. Great Queen Street WC2 with the entrance to the Connaught Rooms in the right background.

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The old Connaught Rooms, now the Grand Connaught Rooms, captured by Peter who recalls that he was last there for a WW2 Victory celebration . . . . we didn't think he was that old!!

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After warning Tim about enquiring further into Lucy Dawson's death, Major Ricketts departs. The junction of Newton Street and Parker Street with The Newton Arms public house to the right.

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Peter was dismayed to discover that the area is being redeveloped. The Newton Arms was his Sunday local in the late 60s / early 70's when he lived in Covent Garden.

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Tim turns as Sergeant Matthews calls to him from a passing car. Looking from Newton Street to Great Queen Street in Bloomsbury.

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Not quite the right angle, the constant stream of white vans was a bit off putting. (PW)

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The car speeds away. Facing Great Queen Street with the entrance of Mark Masons' Hall in the background.

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Mark Masons' Hall, now operating as 'Sway'. (PW)

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On their wedding day, Tim drags Juliet from the film's St. Barthrop's church before the ceremony is over. Outside St. Peter's church at the corner of Belsize Square and Belsize Park in NW3.

The author turns to see Major Ricketts watching as the two flee through the churchyard. St. Peter's churchyard in Belsize Park located by Aidan McManus.

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The same place found and captured by Aidan McManus.

The Major begins to smile as the couple run pass him. The wall to the top fronts Belsize Park.

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A better angle by Aidan, and thanks for the hard work of identification. SJ

Tim and his bride hurriedly climb into the wedding car. To the right, Belsize Park curves away to the south-west.

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A pretty good match at the north-west end of Belsize Square NW3, not too far from the Too Much boutique seen in 'Smashing Time' and locations used in 'It Happened Here' and 'Account Rendered'. SJ

Major Ricketts begins to laugh as the car carries the pair away. Facing Belsize Square from St. Peter's churchyard.

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The foliage matches the season. SJ

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In their compartment on a train, Tim wakes and begins to perspire when he imagines seeing the CID Superintendent sitting next to Juliet. Jonathan Horswell identifies the location as Ruscombe, just east of Twyford in Berkshire.

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Tim recalls the events surrounding Lucy Dawson's demise. Overlooking the ancient city of Pompeii in the Campania region of southern Italy.

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The horn sounds as the train enters a tunnel after Tim starts screaming.