J. Lee Thompson
Yield to the Night (1956) stars the great Diana Dors (The Weak and the Wicked) and was directed by J. Lee Thompson (The Guns of Navarone, Ice Cold in Alex). Adapted for the screen by Joan Henry (from her own novel) and John Cresswell, the film is notable in being a rare female led 50s drama – both in terms of the story and the fact it was written by a woman. It has been described as one of the few “Angry Young Woman” films and is one of Diana Dors’ best critically reviewed roles
Nominated for 3 BAFTAs and the Cannes Palm D’or in its original release in 1956, Dors is supported by a cast including Michael Craig (The Angry Silence, Mysterious Island), Yvonne Mitchell (Woman in a Dressing Gown), Marie Ney (Simba), Mercia Shaw and Harry Locke (Passport to Pimlico). Although Yield to the Night is widely believed to be based on the story of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be executed by hanging in the UK in 1955, the book that the film is based on was, in fact, written before then.
Salesgirl Mary Hilton (Diana Dors) is convicted of murder and sentenced to hang. She spends her final weeks in a condemned cell remembering the events that led to her crime. Having met and fallen hopelessly in love with impoverished musician Jim Lancaster (Michael Craig), Mary left her neglectful husband for him, only to find his attraction to her deflected by his involvement with rich socialite Lucy Carpenter (Mercia Shaw). When Jim’s relationship with Lucy takes a tragic turn, a heartbroken Mary snaps – transforming her love for him into a murderous hatred for her rival.
Alone, imprisoned and desperately afraid; as each day the end grows closer Mary attempts to settle matters with her family as she awaits her final sentencing, or a possible reprieve.
Adapted for the screen by Joan Henry (from her own novel) and John Cresswell
For the 2020 restoration of Yield to the Night, STUDIOCANAL went back to the original camera negative which was scanned and restored in 4K to produce a brand new HD master.