The Traitor (1957) starring Donald Wolfit, Robert Bray, Jane Griffiths, Carl Jaffe, Anton Diffring, Karel Stepanek, Christopher Lee directed by Michael McCarthy, Gilbert Gunn Movie Review

The Traitor (1957)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Anton Diffring and Jane Griffiths in The Traitor (1957)

The Guilty Party

During WWII a group of resistance fighters realise that they had a traitor amongst them when one of them is killed. Each year since the war they have had an annual reunion which this year is being held at the country home of Colonel Charles Price (Donald Wolfit) who has had someone looking into who the traitor is. This year Price plans to unmask the traitor and deal with them personally except someone is ahead of the game as members of the group have been killed as well as the man who Price hired to uncover the identity of who the traitor is before he can tell anyone.

Someone call Hercule Poirot or at least that is how "The Traitor" feels to me as once the opening scenes are out of the way with where we meet each of the group at their homes and places of work we then end up in Price's house and the mystery of the murders and the traitor are solved. The thing is that you have to take a plot element as is for this to work as the investigator refuses to tell Price who the traitor is on the phone as in real life he would have and therefore the storyline wouldn't have worked.

Christopher Lee in The Traitor (1957)

That is not the only thing you have to accept when it comes to "The Traitor" as after those introduction scenes and we head to Price's country home it becomes more of a single location stage play. And for those who don't know what that means it means we then get a movie which is heavy on dialogue as the mystery slowly unravels. For those who enjoy plays it is sure to work better as it makes it hard work for those like me who find the stilted nature of a single location hard going. Not only that it feels like a movie which didn't have enough storyline to fill out a full 90 minutes and resorts to filler such as a scene involving one of them who is a concert pianist entertaining the group with his piano playing.

Despite this "The Traitor" is still entertaining thanks to actors who knew how to create mystery and suspicion through their mannerisms. It is purely because they manage to make us suspicious that it keeps us involved in the who done it.

What this all boils down to is that "The Traitor" most likely appeals more to those who enjoy plays and there minimal sets rather than those who enjoy expansive movies. But as a who done it "The Traitor" is still interesting if a little too wordy.