For A Nightingale
(ITC Movie title "Melody Of Hate")
Original UK transmission: 24th April 1976
Original US transmission: 30th September 1975
WRITTEN BY: Brian Clemens
DIRECTED BY: John Scholz-Conway
PRODUCED BY: Ian Fordyce
MAIN CAST: Susan Flannery (Anna Cartell), Keith Baxter (Tony Risanti), Sydney Tafler (Sam Meadows), Ronald Leigh-Hunt (Giles Turner), Stuart Damon (Hal Bridie), Gita Denise (Marie)
Waves break on harsh rocks at night, and a magnificent mansion looms close by. Inside, an operatic aria is playing on a turntable as a man in dinner jacket listens intensely; a drunken, dishevelled-looking man also listens on and applauds. The man in the dinner jacket reflects on how he once had a good voice, then tears up the record sleeve and puts on a different disc by his wife who he reflects is going to be a "big star" but that he won't be around to see it. He then jokes with his down and out friend that he is better off than his host because he is a "nobody" and no-one is chasing him, and that is why he must kill him. Laughing, the little man is taken by surprise when his host does just that.
Opera singer Anna Cartell gets the shock of her life when the husband she had thought dead for ten years suddenly turns up out of the blue. When she accidentally kills him during an argument, she conceals the body in the hope it will lay undiscovered and no one will be the wiser. However, when she returns to check on the body she finds it has mysteriously vanished - is she mad or has Tony come back to haunt her? She turns to her manager for help, with unexpected consequences.
A clever episode with a sure-fire hook; once the body is found missing, the viewer is drawn inevitably into the story out of sheer curiosity. However, there's plenty of atmosphere and surprises along the way to boot. Recommended.
TV TIMES CLIPPING