Film ID:
NEFA 21406

A POCKETFUL OF FEAR

1963

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Description

A road trip soon takes a sinister turn for a woman who stops at a lonely, rural petrol station on the A19 and finds herself in the driving seat with an unwelcome passenger. Claustrophobically-framed shots inside the car and quick cutting rack up the suspense in this well-made amateur thriller. This film is a Newcastle and District Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA) production.

Title: ACA Film Unit Production

Title: A Pocketful of Fear

Credit: Featuring Annette Black

Credit: With Reg. P. Townsend and Leslie Porter

Credit: R. Potts and D. Taylor – Production Assistants

Credit: Sound and Vision - Doug Collender

Credit: Devised and Produced by Morris Burdon

The film opens with a close-up of a transistor radio laying on a car seat as a young woman drives along a country road alone (in a Ford Consul with Durham County car registration no. RUP 587). She pulls into a service station (actually Testos Caravans and Service Station on the A19) where an attendant fills up her tank with Shell ICA (4/9 a gallon). Taking her purse from her handbag to pay him, she asks where the ladies’ toilets are. He points out the washroom. She backs up the car and heads to the toilets with her handbag.

The garage attendant checks his watch. Close-up of his wristwatch reading ten past six. He grabs his coat from a glass cubicle and runs off to change the sign to “closed”. He heads off at the end of his working day.

The young woman returns from the toilets, pausing briefly to look at the view of misty fields. She glances at the station forecourt and finds it deserted. She walks hesitantly back to her car. Getting back in the driver’s seat, she checks for her car keys, which are missing. She is startled, and screams, when a stern-looking man in the back seat waves her keys at her. He demands she drive him to Durham. Shot of a road sign indicating 13 miles to Durham. This looks like a carjacking. Close-up of the stranger’s hand menacingly shoved into his overcoat pocket (as if clutching a gun). He hands her back the car keys. As she prepares to drive off, she looks towards the garage and the Parkarest cafeteria but there’s no-one around. She drives off onto the main road.

The next sequences record the tense journey as the woman anxiously drives her unwelcome passenger. Close-ups of the two inside the car follow. She is uncomfortably pulling her short dress down to cover her knees, biting her lip, and glancing nervously in the car mirror, the man still clutching something in his pocket. Close-ups are intercut with general views of the car heading along roads (supposedly on the way to Durham).

As the car approaches a 30mph speed limit, the young woman is driving too fast. A police motorcyclist adjusts his goggles and gives chase, gesturing her to pull over along the country road.  Parked roadside, she looks out of her car window hopefully at the policeman, as he begins to write a speeding ticket. She joins the policeman, glancing back at the car nervously. She begins to try and explain, but the carjacker suddenly appears beside her. As the policeman reproaches her for dangerous driving, her abductor hovers around, his one hand hidden menacingly inside his jacket. Cows in a nearby field watch the scene. The stranger walks her back to the car and quickly hops into the back seat. The policeman drives off, looking back briefly.

Another tense sequence follows as the woman continues to drive with her abductor in the back seat. A close-up of a sign for a hospital follows. The man suddenly demands that she pull over, jumps out and opens the driver’s car door, hustling her out too. As they stand in the road, he pulls his hand out of his jacket and reveals it is bandaged up. She smiles, relieved. He thanks her and hands her a small notebook. She opens it to read “Durham County 19:00 MRS RUP 587 Tax Sept ‘64”. He has stolen the policeman’s notes. She laughs. He jauntily heads off up the driveway to the hospital.

Title: The End