The Man Who Finally Died (1963)

1962’s “The Man Who Finally Died,” released December 1963, was a BBC serial that originally aired in 1959, with this feature version following three years later, with an entirely different cast. Stanley Baker stars as British subject Joe Newman, formerly the German-born Joachim Deutsch, who has believed his father Kurt dead for 20 years, until receiving a phone call from Bavaria claiming to be Kurt Deutsch. Upon arriving, he locates his father’s grave before visiting the Deutsch widow, Lisa (Mai Zetterling), currently living in the country home of Dr. Peter von Brecht (Peter Cushing), his every move watched by the local police, plus the insurance investigator (Niall MacGinnis) responsible for Newman’s phone call, who believes the deceased still lives. Holds up rather well despite its television origins, thankfully not lost though unseen for decades, reuniting Baker with Peter Cushing, five years after 1957’s “Violent Playground.” Cushing initially appears sympathetic but gradually displays more sinister shadings, but has only one lengthy scene during the film’s first half (the von Brecht home is Bray studio’s familiar Oakley Court). The fine supporting cast includes Nigel Green, who previously appeared with Cushing in 1960’s “Sword of Sherwood Forest,” which also featured Niall MacGinnis (playing Friar Tuck), who again supported Cushing in 1966’s excellent “Island of Terror.” Certainly not a horror film, though it made one appearance on Pittsburgh’s Chiller Theater on Aug 7 1976, paired with second feature “The Horror of Party Beach.”