Pit of Darkness

Date: 1961
Director: Lance Comfort
Production Company: Butcher’s Film Service

Stars: William Franklyn, Moira Redmond, Bruno Barnabe, Leonard Sachs, Nigel Green
Location(s): London, Surrey

Region(s): ,


When Richard Logan, the partner in a safe making firm, is found unconscious on an old deserted bomb site, he finds that he has no recollection of the last three weeks. He then discovers that the private detective, hired by his wife, has been found murdered and a safe that his firm installed in a large country house has been cleverly opened and the contents are missing. So with the help of his wife, he sets out to uncover the truth.

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Richard Logan (William Franklyn) having been found on a bomb site in Wapping makes his way home. John Cobbett-Maddy identifies this as Limerston Street, West Chelsea, London SW10. This street also featured in Law and Disorder (1958).

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The ironwork remains the same.

He climbs the stairs to the front door. 47 Limerston Street, London SW10 as identified by John.

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No handrail now and lower posts.

After a good nights sleep he decides to go to the office. Chandos Street, London W1

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Added hand rails but in general all very much the same despite the passing years.

There he was called by a "Mavis" (Jacqueline Jones). She had previously called him at home and he agrees to meet her at “their” cottage in the country. The junction of Alms Heath and Ockham Lane, Guildford, Surrey. The Hautboy Hotel on the corner is Grade ll listed.

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The Hautboy Hotel has now been converted into exclusive apartments. (RL)

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He views the cottage with no apparent recollection.

Having found the cottage unoccupied and virtually empty he exits quickly when he hears a time bomb ticking....... and returns home. Limerston Street, London SW10 looking south towards King's Road with Gertrude Street off to the right as identified by John Cobbett-Maddy.

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To support John's identification.

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Wishing to find out more about how he came to be found on the bomb site he visits the home of the boy who found him. Royal Jubilee Buildings and Orange Court, Wapping High Street, London E1. "Orange Court" is retained but is now no more than a passage way. Also seen in “River Beat”.

Richard approaches the building. Royal Jubilee Buildings, included for location comparison purposes.

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The demolition of Royal Jubilee Buildings may have been part of the slum clearance but was this the best that could be put in their place?

As he leaves he returns the way he came, via Orchard Court, Wapping High Street, London E1

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The resized Orchard Court can just be seen.

Once back into the street an attempt to run him over is made. Hermitage Wall going into Redmead Lane with Orton Street, London E1 off to the left.

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There is no reason to think that those cobble stones are not the original.

Whilst casually looking out of his office window Richard sees the Mercedes that tried to run him down parked in the street. Chandos Street, London W1

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The parking bays were suspended for "Filming".....I didn't tell them that I was going!

Having ascertained the name of the owner of the Mercedes Richard leaves the office to find out more. Chandos Street, London W1

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As so often happens the angle was governed by parked cars.

First he steps over the road to see what the connection might be with the car, and succeeds.

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All very well maintained.

That evening he takes his wife Julie (Moira Redmond) to the night club of the Mercedes owner Clifton Conrad (Leonard Sachs) where he meets Mavis, an hostess who agrees to tell “all” if he visits her at her flat the following morning. Courtfield Gardens, London SW5

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No handy parking places today.

He finds her dead. Courtfield Gardens, London SW5

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It makes an interesting photograph.

Finding that by some means or another he has been used to assist in the opening of a safe made by his company he looks out of his window to see the Mercedes driving off once again. Portland Place, London W1

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From ground level.

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The rental of the room opposite was with a view to shooting Richard but he thwarts that attempt, the assassin falls from the roof and Richard makes a hurried escape. It says “Siddons House” There was a Siddons House at 47 Harrow Road, London W2 and I suspect that this could have been the East side on Irongate Wharf Road, now named Harbet Road. It certainly was not near to pitoda013 where the action was supposed to have taken place.

Richard forces the driver, Clifton Conrad, to take them to his night club. Lower James Street, London W1. The street also appears in 'The Next Man' and 'The Young Americans'.

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Not one of the best days to be out with a camera.

There he is knocked unconscious once more but eventually escapes and hails a cab. Piccadilly Circus, London W1

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You don't seriously expect a taxi to be free when it is raining do you?

Whilst in the cab, the action of hailing the cab, starts to prompt his memory of events, particularly when he was first abducted. Identified by John Cobbett-Maddy as Gertrude Street, London SW10 looking towards Langton Street with Shalcomb Street on the left.

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As John pointed out to me the posts are lower and painted white.....and it is much greener overall!

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Having recovered his memory he is once again compromised by the gang to open another safe whilst they hold his wife hostage. He is taken to a shop, supposedly in the Edgware Road where she is being held, for him to see that she is “safe”. Richard is escorted by Fisher (Michael Balfour). The story unfolds and resolves in the studio.