Alias John Preston (1956)

Article 2281 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 6-21-2007
Posting Date: 11-10-2007
Directed by David MacDonald
Featuring Christopher Lee, Alexander Knox, Betta St. John

A wealthy man makes a splash in a small town where he has just arrived. However, he begins to suffer from nightmares, and calls on a psychoanalyst for help.

Madness is the fantastic element of this thriller, but it never really becomes a horror movie and remains more of a mystery/drama. The mystery is basically centered around the nature of that madness, but you’ll probably figure out the significance of John Preston’s dreams long before the movie reveals them. In fact, the whole movie goes on too long; the movie doesn’t really get going until its second half, and the first half is largely filler, with an unnecessary romantic triangle and overly elaborate coverage of Preston’s rise to prominence in the community. Quite frankly, the movie could have been condensed to a thirty-minute TV episode without losing anything important. Good performances by Christopher Lee and Alexander Knox help, but don’t really save the movie. The best moment is towards the end, after Preston relates his last dream and then sees the back of his psychoanalysts head.



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