CLOUDBURST was recommended by author Warren Murphy in a Facebook post. It was a Hammer production, script by Francis Searle and based on a plat by Leo Marks. Marks was a cryptographer during WWII for Special Operations Executive. He went on later to write a memoir of his wartime work, Between Silk To Cyanide. Murphy said it was on Youtube and I did find a half dozen potings of it.
Robert Preston plays John Graham, A Canadian who heads a code breaking team that deciphers old Nazi messages in hopes of tracing war criminals. During the war, he was with a group who worked with the resistance and was where he met his wife Carol(Elizabeth Sellars). He’s devoted to her because, when captured by the Gestapo and tortured in an effort to give up his location, she wouldn’t break. She walks with a limp from the nerve they opened to enforce great pain.
She’s pregnant and late one night they are looking over a field adjoining their property that John wants to buy. His intent is to build tennis courts and other athletic fields for their children and others in the neighborhood. A Bobby on a bicyc;e stops to tell them of a murder nearby, a night watchman and his dog, by a couple in a car. Carol says the widow should hunt down the killers before the police could find them. It’s what she would do.
When a car comes speeding along, Carol slips trying to get out of the way and is run down by the couple in the vehicle. It crashes into a fence and John is tangling with them when the woman stabs him with a small pair of scissors from her purse.
Carol dies and John lies to the police, saying there was only a man in the car. He didn’t get the license plate.
John knows what they look like and in the scuffle, he hears their first names: Mickie(Harold Lang) and Lorna(Sheila Burrell). He notices one thing about Mickie as well. He has a boxer’s hands. And he got the plate number as well.
The plan is to find the pair and do to them what they did to Carol. After that, he cares not about himself. With that, he goes to his wartime team for help: one for fake plates and another, a boxing trainer, for help in finding Mickie.
Colin Tapley is Inspector Davis, the Scotland Yard man in charge of the investigation, both the night watchman murder and that of Mickie Fraser, a retired boxer who once fought under the name Kid Cobra. He’d been run over and then backed over a second time.
The two men know the truth and respect each other, but both have a job to do.