Worth a viewing for sci-fi fans...
Mark Savary | Seattle, WA | 07/19/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is not really a horror picture, as you might naturally expect from the Hammer logo, and the synopsis on the back of the case. Any horror here is not visceral, and not even psychological. If anything, the horror (such as it is), is posed philosophically.Actually a sci-fi effort, "The Four Sided Triangle" is a very good British black and white film from 1953. The production values are really pretty good, although the film was obviously made inexpensively. I liked the cast, location shooting, cinematography, and the basic overall story, which is in the best tradition of sci-fi short stories. Two scientists create a new process to "reproduce" matter from energy (think of a cross between a photocopier and the replicators on "Star Trek"). Both scientists are in love with the same girl, and one is bound to lose when she finally chooses between them. However, the loser hits upon the idea of replicating the girl, so everyone can be happy and get what they want... at least on paper.The gadget at the center of the tale, the "reproducer", is important but incidental. The device serves to facilitate the "what if?" quality of the story, making the normally impossible suddenly somehow possible. Scientific explanations of the device are not necessary, because the story is about how the characters react to the new problems their invention creates. In other words, the real story is between the characters, and unlike today's cineplex-infesting tripe, the focus is not on the special effects.The film asks big questions that it never answers, and even then, it only asks them indirectly. Regardless, while the film is not completely successful, it does manage satisfy."
FOUR SIDED TRIANGLE - Good Sci-Fi flick for its Time
Keith Mirenberg | www.spaceanimations.org | 01/30/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Four Sided Triangle was a good sci-fi flick for its time and I rate it at four stars. The plot was a bit farfetched and involved a reproduction machine that may as well have been Star Trek's Transporter (except for leaving the original intact).
When one of the male leads decides to reproduce the girl his partner marries (because he wants one too), this beautiful 50's blond is cloned, thoughts and all. Her duplicate wakes up still in love with the other guy. This plot might have made a good Twilight Zone or Woody Allan story. I actually think I remember seeing this one on TV and liked it then twice as much as I did a couple of days ago.
Early Hammer Sci-Fi Entry Shines.
Chip Kaufmann | Asheville, N.C. United States | 03/22/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"THE FOUR SIDED TRIANGLE is a remarkable little black and white film that scores on a number of levels. The sci-fi angle about a machine that can duplicate matter is strongly reminiscent of THE FLY although this is 5 years earlier. The lab scenes involving the machine are imaginatively handled for the time and show the editing prowess of director Terence Fisher who in just a few short years would launch Hammer Horror with CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN and DRACULA. On the surface this is standard sci-fi stuff similar to a TWILIGHT ZONE or an OUTER LIMITS episode but what really sets it apart is the central story of a love triangle with a decidedly novel twist.
Bill, Robin, and Lena are three children from an English village who grow up together. They are the best of friends but when Lena goes to America, the two friends go to college and work on their dream of creating a machine that can make a perfect copy of anything placed in it. A few years later Lena returns and with both men in love with her, she chooses Robin over Bill. Bill then decides to duplicate her in his machine so there will be two Lenas, one for each of them. Unfortunately the duplicate (no clones back then) has the same memories and the same feelings as the original and this leads to a must unusual ending.
The film unfolds in a leisurely way with a narrator/character similar to the one in OUR TOWN. The acting of the three principals especially Barbara Payton in the double role, is quite accomplished. Payton who was known for her sexpot roles and troubled life off screen (she died at only 39), gives the performance of her career and reminds us of how underused she was by American filmmakers. Despite the sci-fi trappings THE FOUR SIDED TRIANGLE, as the title implies, is essentially a love story which packs a surprising emotional punch. Just don't expect Hammer Horror and remember, the film is in black and white."
Bill and Robin Hammer out their differences
bernie | Arlington, Texas | 09/27/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Bill, Robin, and Lena (Stephen Murray, John Van Eyssen, and Barbara Payton) where friends since childhood. After diverging lives, they soon combine their talents to build a replicator, a device that can copy anything making a precise copy. Soon Lena must make up her mind as to who she will marry as it was inevitable. She picks Robin leaving bill as odd man out. No worry as Bill envisions a radical plan that we have all ready guesses. What will be the results?
This early Hammer film may have been a precursor to "The Fly" (1958.) At least the technical part. However, I believe as with all good Sci-Fi and many other genres this is a vehicle for people, their emotions, and how we deal with each other. The film is in the old English style and in black and white. It starts out in the tradition of "Our Town" as the local doctor narrates the story to us as a third party.