Lucille Fletcher’s Night Watch isn’t the first average stage play to be turned into a better than average film. Astute direction and an improved cast more than help.
Elizabeth Taylor dominates the doings. Director Brian G. Hutton makes the most of the suggested violence in the film and that is where it remains, suggested, until a brouhaha among the film’s three principals at the end.
The switch ending is, actually, telegraphed by a disclosure made by the police inspector and the scripters are guilty of dragging one or two small red herrings across the trail. The biggest demand on credibility is believing that anyone in his right mind would want to leave the beautiful Taylor for the likes of Billie Whitelaw, an excellent actress but no prime example of feminine pulchritude. It suggests madness on the part of husband Laurence Harvey (first-rate in the role).
Besides the star-billed threesome, the most impressive performance is that of Robert Lang as the more-than-inquisitive bachelor neighbor.