The Very Edge (1963)

UK, 1962
35mm film, black and white, 2.35:1
mono, English

A British borderline horror film directed by Cyril Frankel. Production started in early August 1962 1Variety vol.227 no.11 (8 August 1962) p.22 (International Sound Track)] at Ardmore studios in Ireland.

Plot Summary

A young wife is stalked by a psychopath.


Directed by: Cyril Frankel
A Garrick/British Lion release through BLC Films Limited [UK prints only]. A Raymond Stross production
Produced by: Raymond Stross
Production Manager: Buddy Booth
Production Supervisor: George Fowler
Screenplay by: Elizabeth Jane Howard
Original Material by: Vivian Cox, Leslie Bricusse & Raymond Stross
Assistant Director: Fred Slark
Continuity: Tilly Day
Director of Photography: Bob Huke [real name: Robert Huke]
Camera Operators: Don Taylor, Gus Drisse
Editor: Max Benedict
Music Composed and Directed by: David Lee
Director of Sound: Steve Dalby [real name: Stephen Dalby]
Sound Mixer: Sid Wiles [real name: Sydney Wiles]
Dubbing Editor: Pat Holmes
RCA Sound Recording
Wardrobe: Eileen Long
Make-up: Bill Darcy
Hairdresser: Ann Fordyce
Production Designer: Arthur Lawson

Richard Todd (Geoffrey Lawrence)
Anne Heywood (Tracey Lawrence)
Jack Hedley (Inspector McInnes)
Jeremy Brett (Mullen)
Maurice Denham (Crawford)
William Lucas (Inspector Davis)
Gwen Watford (Sister Holden)
Barbara Mullen (Dr Shaw)
Peter Madden (Sergeant Williams)
Patrick Magee (Simmonds)
Nicole Maurey (Helen)
Pauline Delaney (Selina's mother)
Verina Greenlaw (Selina)
Ian Curry (railway porter)
Brian Weske, Peter Dolphin (ticket clerks)
Joe Grieg (ticket collector)
Pamela Meant (policewoman)
Michael Collins (policeman)
Christopher Hancock (policeman)
Irene Richmond (woman in waiting room)
Danny Cummins (man in pub)

Alternative Titles

Afgrunden – Danish title
Al borde del abismo – Spanish title
Il limite della vergogna – Italian title
A Mulher do Próximo – Portuguese title
O Mystiriodis dolofonos tou mesonyktiou – Greek title
Vettskrämd – Swedish title


Variety 8 May 1963
Maybe The Very Edge would have benefited by some sharper direction than the capable Cyril Frankel has given it. It emerges an interesting meller but it lacks the very edge of its title. Some flabby moments of scriptwriting, both in dialog and action, show up at different times. […] Acting throughout is sound, with the main burden falling on Miss Heywood who assumes the required emotions without overmuch strain. Todd's role is fairly colorless but well within the range of this actor. Miss Maurey also makes impact in a role which is always threatening to be more important than it is. Among the supporting cast, Jack Hedley is a believable Scotland Yard man. The maniac is played by Jeremy Brett. It's a difficult role and Brett scores a near miss. At moments the performance loses the sinister menace that is essential. Cyril Frankel's direction is assured though not over imaginative. Other technical credits are okay. Film stands up as a very useful entry at the wickets. – from a review by Rich

Monthly Film Bulletin vol.30 no.353 (June 1963) p.90
There may be the germ of an idea in this unbelievable melodrama, but playing and production have destroyed any chance of giving it life. Conceived in cliche, it is an advertising man's (well photographed)
dream, with all the O.K. gadgets of modem super-Span living. This would not have been a reproach if treated properly, but as used here it merely illustrates the essential shallowness in attitude and contempt for its audience which run right through the film. Faults in conception are not helped by the general superficiality of the performances, but there are some touches which hint at better things. Anne Heywood makes Tracey believable, and her scenes with the little girl down the road are charming and naturally played. Terror of violence from the under-privileged intruding into a carefree, secure life is lurking at the back of the film, and it would only have needed a little more integrity and artistry to tum the film from an insult to audience intelligence into an interesting piece of cinema. – from an uncredited review



  • The Daily Cinema no.8748 (10 April 1963) p.12 – credits, review
  • Kine Weekly no.2897 (11 April 1963) p.25 – credits, review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.30 no.353 (June 1963) p.90 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Variety vol.230 no.11 (8 May 1963) – credits, review (by Rich)

Other sources

  • British National Film Catalogue vol.1 (1963) – credits