Walking Stick, The (1970): Heist Melodrama, Starring David Hemmings and Samantha Eggar

Two of Britain’s hottest and most appealing stars, Samantha Eggar (The Collector) and David Hemmings (Blow-Up) team in The Walking Stick, a well-acted but not particularly engaging heist melodrama, sluggishly directed by Eric Till.

Based on a novel by Winston Graham, the tale centers on Deborah (Eggar), a polio-stricken woman courted by charming artist Leigh Hartley (Hemmings).

After a brief courtship, Deborah moves in with Leigh, who then proposes that she help him rob the antique store where she works.

Utterly in love, Deborah agrees, hoping that Leigh will use the stolen loot to open up their own antique shop.   However, we suspect right away that another motivation is behind the plan, greed and personal gain.

Slow and uneventful, The Walking Stick contains some stylistic devices of the era, including moody ambience and close-ups of Eggar’s lovely face.  But there is no sufficient energy to make us care about the story, which is essentially a two-handler, with too few secondary figures or subplots around them.

The film, which for long stretches of time is silent, was both an artistic and commercial flop.

MPAA: PG

Running time: 101 minutes

Note

Cheers to TCM, which aired the film June 25, 2015 in its series of heist films.