The Glass Tomb (1955)

59 mins | Mystery | 15 April 1955

Director:

Montgomery Tully

Producer:

Anthony Hinds

Cinematographer:

Walter Harvey

Editor:

James Needs

Production Designer:

J. Elder Wills
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Outsiders , and it was released in Great Britain on 29 Aug 1955 as The Glass Cage . According to a 9 Sep 1948 DV news item, the rights to A. E. Martin's novel were originally purchased by Eronel Productions, with Herbert G. Luft "set to supervise script development." In Jul 1949, DV reported that Luft himself had purchased the novel for "a contemplated independent production." It is unlikely that Luft contributed to The Glass Tomb , however. Although Arnold Marle receives an onscreen credit, the character of "Pop Maroni" did not appear in the viewed ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Outsiders , and it was released in Great Britain on 29 Aug 1955 as The Glass Cage . According to a 9 Sep 1948 DV news item, the rights to A. E. Martin's novel were originally purchased by Eronel Productions, with Herbert G. Luft "set to supervise script development." In Jul 1949, DV reported that Luft himself had purchased the novel for "a contemplated independent production." It is unlikely that Luft contributed to The Glass Tomb , however. Although Arnold Marle receives an onscreen credit, the character of "Pop Maroni" did not appear in the viewed print. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
28 Jan 1956.
---
Daily Variety
9 Sep 48
p. 11.
Daily Variety
8 Jul 49
p. 18.
Daily Variety
16 Jul 54
p. 5.
Daily Variety
27 Aug 54
p. 9.
Daily Variety
8 Sep 54
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jul 54
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Sep 1954
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Sep 54
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Sep 1954
p. 16.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
18 Feb 56
p. 787.
The Cinema
15 Jul 1955.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Hammer Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Assembly cutter
MUSIC
Mus comp
SOUND
Recording
MAKEUP
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Outsiders by A. E. Martin (New York, 1945).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Glass Cage
The Outsiders
Release Date:
15 April 1955
Production Date:
began mid July 1954 at Bray Studios, Windsor, England
Copyright Claimant:
Exclusive Films, Ltd.
Copyright Date:
13 June 1955
Copyright Number:
LP4795
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
59
Length(in feet):
5,310
Length(in reels):
7
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17132
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

American carnival promoter Pel Pelham lives with his English wife Jenny and son Peter in London, where he hopes to stage an attraction featuring Henri Sapolio, the "world's champion starving man." Needing money, Pel borrows £250 from his old friend, bookie Tony Lewis. Tony confides in Pel that he has received a suspicious letter from Dolores LaMarr, a former lover, and that he does not want his socialite fiancee to find out about her. Pel offers to talk to Dolores, who lives in the same building as Sapolio and his wife Marie, but when he leaves Tony's office, Pel is confronted by Rorke, the crooked representative of the Carnival and Circus Owners League. Pel brushes off Rorke, then persuades real estate agent Rutland to donate a site for his tent. After giving Sapolio a much-needed salary advance, Pel goes upstairs to question Dolores. To Pel's surprise, Dolores is actually an old friend, the tempermental Rena Maroni, whose circus owner father gave Pel his first job. Rena admits that after quarreling with her father, she changed her name and moved to London, where she had an affair with Tony. Rena insists, however, that she has no intention of blackmailing Tony and instead wanted to tell him that she will not need any more money from him. Concerned, Pel invites Rena to that evening's celebration of the opening of his venture. Later, as Sapolio leaves to buy groceries, he sees but does not recognize a man entering Rena's apartment. The man, theatrical agent Henry Stanton, is Rena's secret lover, as well as the benefactor of Pel, Sapolio and their friends. Unknown ... +


American carnival promoter Pel Pelham lives with his English wife Jenny and son Peter in London, where he hopes to stage an attraction featuring Henri Sapolio, the "world's champion starving man." Needing money, Pel borrows £250 from his old friend, bookie Tony Lewis. Tony confides in Pel that he has received a suspicious letter from Dolores LaMarr, a former lover, and that he does not want his socialite fiancee to find out about her. Pel offers to talk to Dolores, who lives in the same building as Sapolio and his wife Marie, but when he leaves Tony's office, Pel is confronted by Rorke, the crooked representative of the Carnival and Circus Owners League. Pel brushes off Rorke, then persuades real estate agent Rutland to donate a site for his tent. After giving Sapolio a much-needed salary advance, Pel goes upstairs to question Dolores. To Pel's surprise, Dolores is actually an old friend, the tempermental Rena Maroni, whose circus owner father gave Pel his first job. Rena admits that after quarreling with her father, she changed her name and moved to London, where she had an affair with Tony. Rena insists, however, that she has no intention of blackmailing Tony and instead wanted to tell him that she will not need any more money from him. Concerned, Pel invites Rena to that evening's celebration of the opening of his venture. Later, as Sapolio leaves to buy groceries, he sees but does not recognize a man entering Rena's apartment. The man, theatrical agent Henry Stanton, is Rena's secret lover, as well as the benefactor of Pel, Sapolio and their friends. Unknown to the carnival people, Stanton is also a killer, and when Rena tries to end their affair, he strangles her. As Stanton is leaving the building, he is mistaken for an arriving guest and so joins the celebration at the Sapolios' flat. Rorke is also there, and in the midst of the raucous gathering, midget Mickelwitz discovers Rena's body. Scotland Yard inspector Lindley finds Rena's letter to Tony, which Pel had returned to her, then questions Pel, who is a known acquaintance of Tony. The inspector goads Pel by revealing that Rena's death is similiar to the year-old death of another woman, and asks him to question his friends. Pel refuses, then cautions Sapolio not to reveal that he saw a man entering Rena's apartment until he has conducted his own investigation. Pel fears that Tony is the killer, while Rorke, suspecting that Stanton is the murderer, begins to blackmail him. Soon after, Pel's exhibit opens to a large crowd as Sapolio is sealed into the glass tomb in which he will live without eating for the next seventy days. Lindley arrives to question Pel about Tony's check, about which Rorke informed him, but Pel is evasive. The next morning, Pel still worries about Tony and confides in Stanton that Sapolio saw a man outside Rena's apartment, and that Sapolio will eventually figure out who it was. Meanwhile, Tony marries his fiancee, and upon his return from their honeymoon, receives a blackmailing phone call from Rorke. Later, Pel returns home to discover that Jenny is missing. Jenny soon staggers home and reveals that she was kidnapped by a man who threatened to kill her and Peter if Pel continued his investigation. Mistakenly believing that Tony is the culprit, Pel confesses all to Lindley the following morning, but Lindley informs him that Tony has been shot to death. While Pel and Lindley discuss searching for a new suspect, Stanton confronts Rorke, who confesses to kidnapping Jenny and killing Tony when he pulled a gun on him. At the tomb, Pel's helper George, an alcoholic, cannot resist when a bottle of liquor is delivered, and after Geoge passes out, someone sneaks in and slips Sapolio a poisoned piece of ham fat. Late that night, Sapolio's body is discovered, and in order to entrap the killer, Pel and Lindley plant a newspaper story that Sapolio is in a coma, and that his slumbering body will continue to be displayed. With a police decoy lying in Sapolio's bed, Pel and Lindley scan the crowds, searching for the guilty man. One afternoon, Stanton disguises himself as a doctor and enters the tomb, but when he attempts to kill "Sapolio," the policeman rises up to fight him. Stanton shoots the policeman, then holds the crowd at bay with his pistol. One of the onlookers gets the gun away from Stanton and fights with him, after which Stanton is shot and killed by George. As he regards Stanton's body, Pel bitterly comments on Stanton's reputation of possessing the "greatest heart is show business." Later, Pel places a wreath under Sapolio's photograph and tells Lindley that he is keeping the tomb open for display, as the late entertainer would have wanted. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.