Blu-Ray Review: Fragment of Fear

During the 1960s, David Hemmings was one of the most well-known faces of British acting. After his big break in Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blowup, he became a pin-up and was regularly to be seen in the gossip columns of newspapers and magazines. Capitalising on this success, he starred in Barbarella, Camelot and The Charge of the Light Brigade, amongst other big British films. He continued acting until his death in 2003, making notable appearances in Prisoners, Deep Red and Lola; also moving behind the camera. At the height of his fame in 1970 he starred in Fragment of Fear.

Tim Brett (Hemmings) is a former drug addict who has written a best-selling book about his experiences. He becomes re-acquainted with his aunt (Flora Robson) in Italy, but shortly after she’s found murdered. He meets Juliet (Gayle Hunnicutt), the person who found her body, and the couple are engaged soon after. Not trusting the local police, he begins to make his own enquiries. This triggers a campaign of intimidation against him from persons unknown. As he tries to resolve the matter, he becomes increasingly desperate and doesn’t know who to trust.

Fragment of Fear is a diverting psychological drama which pitches Brett up against a menagerie of unknown enemies. Hemmings puts in a believable, if slightly disconnected, portrayal of a man battling against himself as much as anyone else. Richard C. Sarafian does a great job of keeping his audience guessing and Paul Dehn’s script cleverly balances the suspense, intrigue and drama. Fragment of Fear is an interesting drama about paranoia, panic and policing.

Indicator Limited Edition Special Features:

• High Definition remaster
• Original mono audio
• The Writer as Auteur (2017, 14 mins): an analysis of the life and work of screenwriter Paul Dehn by author and broadcaster David Kipen
• First Assistant Director William P. Cartlidge on ‘Fragment of Fear’ (2017, 10 mins): a frank and revealing insight into the film’s production
• Original radio spots
• Original theatrical trailer
• Image gallery: original promotional material
• New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet with a new essay by Johnny Mains, extracts from a previously unpublished interview with composer Johnny Harris, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and historic articles on the film
• World premiere on Blu-ray
• Limited Edition of 3,000 copies

The Limited Edition Blu-ray of Fragment of Fear is released by Powerhouse Films as part of the Indicator Series on 30 October.

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