Four Sided Triangle (1953)

DIRECTOR: Terence Fisher
WRITER: Paul Tabori, from the novel by William F Temple
MUSIC: Malcolm Arnold
CAST: Stephen Murray, Barbara Payton, James Hayter, John van Eyssen, Percy Marmont


In a quiet English village, Bill and Robin (Murray and Van Eyssen) have grown up together, and have converted an old barn into a laboratory, where they carry out experiments in duplicating physical matter.

A childhood friend, Lena (Payton) returns, and Robin falls in love. They are married; however, Bill is secretly in love with Lena, and obsessively experiments in order to duplicate her body exactly, thus creating another Lena for himself. With the help of an old family friend, Dr Harvey (Hayter), and with the consent of Lena, he succeeds - but with unintended consequences.


Thematically, Four Sided Triangle harks back to Fisher's Stolen Face (1951), another tale of a man so in love that he sets out obsessively to recreate the object of his love; it also anticipates the later Frankenstein series, in particular Frankenstein Created Woman (1967), in its metaphysical concern with the nature of the soul and its relationship to the body.

This is a stately drama, handsomely designed and enacted by a fairly small cast. It provides one of the earliest signs of what director Terence Fisher was later to achieve through his horror films.

Location filming was in Bray Village, near the studios. Those acquainted with other Hammer films shot in the same locale, such as Captain Clegg (1962), will recognize familiar features such as the Bray Parish Church.


Title card:

Stephen Murray as Bill:

John van Eyssen and Stephen Murray as Robin and Bill:

James Hayter as Dr Harvey, Stephen Murray as Bill, Hollywood "bad girl" Barbara Payton as Lena, and John van Eyssen as Robin:

Hayter and Van Eyssen:

Hayter and Payton:

Hayter reluctantly assist Murray in his experiments:

Lena agrees to become part of Bill's experiments in recreating life:




David L Rattigan 2005





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