Armed with a superior script by Anthony Shaffer, an excellent cast, and a top technical crew, Alfred Hitchcock fashions a firstrate melodrama about an innocent man hunted by Scotland Yard for a series of sex-strangulation murders.
Working from Arthur La Bern’s novel, Goodbye Piccadilly, Farewell Leicester Square, Shaffer develops a finely-structured screenplay. Jon Finch heads the cast as something of a loser who becomes trapped by circumstantial evidence in the sordid murders of several women, including his former wife (Barbara Leigh-Hunt), and current girl-friend (Anna Massey). The audience knows early who the real culprit is – in this case, Finch’s friend, Barry Foster – so the interest lies in hoping for the rescue of the hero. Hitchcock has used this basic dramatic situation before.