“You’re not much good as a murderer are you?”
Alan Colby (Ronald Lewis) is a race car driver. He survives a traumatic car accident with his wife Denise (Diane Cilento). The driver of the other car was killed. After being released from the hospital Alan begins to suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. To try to heal from his psychological trauma Alan and Denise take a holiday to the French Riviera. Sort of a delayed honeymoon.
While in Cote D’Azur they meet a French psychiatrist named David Prade (Claude Dauphin). Denise thinks that Prade may be able to help her husband get over his fears and urges. Alan, on the other hand, is not impressed with the charming doctor and in fact takes a disliking to him. Denise keeps on urging Alan to under go Prade’s “full treatment” which is a form of regression therapy. Finally after an attempt to strangle Denise Alan gives in and starts seeing Prade in his London office.
Alan’s post traumatic stress manifests itself in manic depressive behavior, erectile dysfunction and the desire to strangle and dismember his wife. Alan goes through months of therapy writing down his dreams and trying to relive the accident. The final treatment requires the use of CO2. He finally has a breakthrough and remembers what happened. And then the trouble starts.
“Stop me before I Kill” AKA “The Full Treatment” was released in 1960 and was directed by Val Guest. The movie is a Hammer studio production and is basically a psychological thriller. It’s been referred to as Hichcockian and it is similar to his style, just without that Hitchcock flair.
Originally 120 minutes long, the US version has some 15 minutes removed. Supposedly a shower scene where Alan attempts to strangle Denise as well as some other smaller scenes. From my understanding the movie features Hammer’s first nude scene when Denise takes a swim in the Mediterranean Sea. But, don’t blink, sneeze or cough or you’ll miss it. I suspect that the British version has that scene a little longer. Diane Cilento was dating Sean Connery at the time. (They married two years later.)
Strangely there is a female character that portrays a black French Baroness. Something not normally seen in movies in the 60’s. That would be strange enough, but the actress who plays the black French Baroness is actually a white Canadian. Go figure. One step forward, two steps back.
I found that the movie had a lot of slow spots and it took me awhile to get into it. Even though the US version is shorter it still seemed to lack pacing from time to time. Probably because the wrong sections of the movie were cut. They took out the sexy shower scene and left in the slow scenes. Some of Alan’s bipolar fits got on my nerves. Denise as the long suffering wife began to annoy me too. I’d have told him of long ago. Eventually it got quite interesting. There were some twists and turns and the pace picked up. I enjoyed it, but I would have preferred it with some of the excess trimmed.