Hysteria (1965): Freddie Francis’ Murder Mystery Noir, Starring Robert Webber

Freddie Francis, better known as an Oscar-winning cinematographer, directed Hysteria, a Hammer Films production of murder mystery noir.

Robert Webber plays Chris Smith, an American who wakes up in an English hospital unable to remember anything of his life before a recent car accident.

Months later, he has recovered physically but has not retrieved his memory. The only link to his past is a photo torn from a newspaper.

Smith’s amnesia is being treated by psychiatrist Dr. Keller (Anthony Newlands), who tells him that his bills are paid by an anonymous benefactor, who has offered an apartment to him. Dr. Keller also warns him that he might suffer hallucinations.

In the process. Chris has fallen in love with his nurse, Gina (Jennifer Jayne). Upon release from the hospital, Chris moves into a flat and hires a private investigator, Hemmings. Chris visits the photographer of the photo, who tells him that the subject is dead, the victim of murder.

Chris begins hearing strange voices from next door, a couple arguing. He keeps seeing a woman around town, who reminds him of the woman in the photo, and one day, discovers a bloody knife in his shower.

Chris receives a late night visit from Denise, who claims to be the widow of the man responsible for the accident which caused Chris’ loss of memory. Denise, who bears remarkable resemblance to the woman in the photo, gives Chris drugs.

Things become more mysterious, when he discovers in his shower the body of a murdered woman, which later disappears.  Assisted by Hemmings, Chris tricks Denise and Keller into admitting the murder, and planned to frame him for the crime; the victim is the physician’s wife.

In the end, Chris is reunited with Gina.

Robert Webber as Chris Smith
Anthony Newlands as Dr. Keller
Jennifer Jayne as Gina McConnell
Maurice Denham as Hemmings
Lelia Goldoni as Denise James
Peter Woodthorpe as Marcus Allan
Sandra Boize as English Girl
Sue Lloyd as French Girl
John Arnatt as Mr. James
Marianne Stone as Marcus Allan’s Secretary, Miss Grogan
Irene Richmond as Mrs. Keller
Kiwi Kingston as French Girl’s Husband


TCM showed this film on November 25, 2019.