Creepy British goth psycho-drama from the '60s, starring Richard Attenborough

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Spirit Of ’64

A fine British example of the kind of ’60s gothic thriller more commonly associated with post-war Hollywood (Sunset Boulevard, Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?), this finds Richard Attenborough creepily convincing as the weak-willed husband of deluded clairvoyant Kim Stanley, cajoled into abducting a child in a preposterous scheme to legitimise her supernatural abilities.

First released in 1964, Bryan Forbes’ psycho-drama remains a powerful and all too believable morality tale (disturbing echoes of the Moors and Soham murders), irredeemably chilling in its splendidly unhinged John Barry score and the terrifying on-screen insanity of Stanley herself. Others in Carlton’s crop of ’60s Brit-flicks include All Night Long, Victim, Hell Drivers and The League Of Gentlemen (that’s the brilliant Jack Hawkins heist comedy?nowt to do with Royston Vasey).