The April Fool
Newly weds Tom (Richard Attenborough - The Magic Box) and Jill Manning (Cathy O'Donnell - Detective Story) are still in their honeymoon phase which is why when a young girl asked Tom to help her find her missing dog he was unaware that it was April Fool's day and he was being pranked. But later on Tom finds himself being arrested when the young girl is found murdered and witnesses saw him with the girl. With no money his wife Jill manages to find inexperienced lawyer Peter Tanner (Derek Farr) to defend him which brings Peter up against his father Geoffrey (Ian Hunter) who is the prosecutions lawyer.
If someone was trying to get "Eight O'Clock Walk" made now it would end up a made for TV movie with its origins in a true story and simple courtroom drama about an innocent man accused of murder. In fact whilst this was made for the big screen back in 1954 it feels like a relatively low budget production from a director who had no real affection for the story but was contracted to do the work. Don't get me wrong as "Eight O'Clock Walk" is entertaining but only in an ordinary way.
"Eight O'Clock Walk" is really just standard stuff as we have Tom having been spotted with the little girl before she was murdered ending up arrested despite being innocent. That leaves his inexperienced lawyer up against his father to try and find some scrap of evidence to prove him innocent which of course comes after some courtroom drama as it seems that Tom's case is a hopeless one. As I said standard stuff and director Lance Comfort only approaches it in an ordinary way, solid but with no flare to make it dramatic or truly exciting.
But what "Eight O'Clock Walk" has is Richard Attenborough and he brings to life the predicament which Tom finds himself, unable to defend himself despite having done nothing wrong. Attenborough brings to life that fear that things are spiralling out of control and he is backed up nicely by Cathy O'Donnell as his supportive American wife.
What this all boils down to is that "Eight O'Clock Walk" is an entertaining little movie based on a true story but it is nothing special with a very ordinary look and lack of atmosphere letting it down.