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confront their own inner drives, even their ‘perversions’. Maybe the invasion of the upper-middle-class purlieus of the Blandish home by the Grisson low-lifes raised the spectre of such a threat to middle-class life-and to middle-class critics-in the real world. Whether or not it is a ‘good’ film, the critical response to it and other crime melodramas such as Noose, They Made Me a Fugitive and Good Time Girl can instruct us about the period’s mores. These are films that parade what the national psyche preferred to repress, and which the more prestigious arms of the British film industry usually treated with a decent reserve. Sexual and other impulses, especially of a violently disruptive kind, will lie buried for another decade when the Hammer Studios at Bray will make a fortune by giving them an airing in the generic guise.