Peter Cushing makes a nebulous entrance in Cash On Demand (above), only to be driven to drink by a master criminal (Andre Morell, seated) who may be less than meets the eye.
The film retains its inherent theatrical nature, the action being restricted to the bank, but in Hammer's hands it becomes a star vehicle for Cushing, who gets ample opportunity to define his character through fussy actions and manners before the taunting villain begins to break down his reserve. This Christmas story (set on December 23) becomes perhaps most Dickensian when Fordyce's fate is resolved by an act of grace and his lesson appears to be learned. Whether you see it that way or not, it's fun to see Cushing go through his paces in a mildly satirical thriller rather than the usual horror film. Cash On Demand is one of six films in Sony's Icons of Suspense set, its latest collection of Hammer releases, which I have out of the library for a long weekend. I probably won't watch all six this time out, but expect to see more reviews from this promising set in the future.