The Night Digger

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Night Digger
Night digger.jpg
original film poster
Directed byAlastair Reid
Produced byAlan D. Courtney
Screenplay byRoald Dahl
Based onNest in a Fallen Tree
by Joy Cowley
StarringPatricia Neal
Pamela Brown
Nicholas Clay
Jean Anderson
Christopher Reynalds
Peter Sallis
Music byBernard Herrmann
CinematographyAlex Thomson
Edited byJohn Bloom
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • 12 May 1971 (1971-05-12) (U.S.)
Running time
110 min
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish

The Night Digger is a 1971 British thriller film based on the novel Nest in a Fallen Tree by Joy Cowley.[1] It was adapted by Roald Dahl and starred his then wife Patricia Neal.[2] The Night Digger was the American title; it was originally released in the United Kingdom as The Road Builder.[3]

Plot[edit]

In a decaying mansion on the outskirts of London, middle-aged spinster Maura Prince (Patricia Neal) lives a life of drudgery caring for her blind and domineering mother (Pamela Brown). Into their dysfunctional lives, a handsome stranger appears, riding on a motorbike and looking for work as a handyman. Young Billy Jarvis (Nicholas Clay) soon makes himself indispensable around the house, but his angelic features mask dysfunctions that threaten both women's lives.

Cast[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

In a contemporary review, the New York Times wrote, "It begs for empathy for its tortured principals, but despite the clearly dedicated contributions of Patricia Neal, Roald Dahl, her scenarist-husband; Pamela Brown and a young newcomer, Nicholas Clay, the strain on credibility is a good deal more notable than the impact on the emotions";[4] while more recently, DVD Talk wrote, "The Night Digger doesn't carry much of a reputation, but I found it highly unusual, and more than satisfying";[5] Cinema Retro called it "an underrated gem";[6] and the Radio Times concluded, "director Alastair Reid's neo-Grand Guignol chamber piece exudes a peculiar fascination";[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Night Digger (1971)".
  2. ^ "The Road Builder aka The Night Digger". Turner Classic Movies.
  3. ^ "The Night Digger". allmovie.com.
  4. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9506EEDD1E3BE73ABC4B52DFB366838A669EDE
  5. ^ "DVD Savant Review: The Night Digger". www.dvdtalk.com.
  6. ^ "DVD REVIEW: "THE NIGHT DIGGER" STARRING PATRICIA NEAL - Celebrating Films of the 1960s & 1970s". www.cinemaretro.com.
  7. ^ "The Road Builder – review - cast and crew, movie star rating and where to watch film on TV and online". Radio Times.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]