|I Start Counting|
|Directed by||David Greene|
|Produced by||David Greene|
Stanley R. Jaffe
|Screenplay by||Richard Harris|
|Based on||I Start Counting|
by Audrey Erskine Lindop
|Music by||Basil Kirchin|
|Edited by||Keith Palmer|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|27 November 1970|
I Start Counting is a 1970 British thriller film directed by David Greene and starring Jenny Agutter and Bryan Marshall. Its plot follows a teenaged girl who comes to suspect that her adult foster brother is a serial killer. It was based on the 1966 novel of the same name by Audrey Erskine Lindop.
The film was moderately controversial because of Agutter's squeaky-clean image and youth (16, playing a 14-year-old), when coupled with the film's sexual content. It also included Simon Ward's first major film role. The theme song, also titled "I Start Counting", was sung by Lindsey Moore.
The film was shot at Bray Studios in Berkshire and on location around Bracknell. The sets were designed by the art director Brian Eatwell.
Young Phil Collins makes a little appearance as an ice cream vendor.
Wynne (Agutter), an adopted 14-year-old girl, has a crush on her 32-year-old stepbrother, George (Bryan Marshall). While spying on George in the bathroom, Wynne notices he has several scratches on his back, and finds a jumper she made for him that he threw in the rubbish has blood on it; this leads her to suspect him of being the serial killer of several local teenage girls, who is still at large. Despite this belief, Wynne continues to have romantic sexual fantasies about George, and dreams of marrying him when she comes of legal age.
Wynne hides in George's minibus, thinking to catch him in the act of murdering a young girl, but instead discovers he is having an affair with a mentally fragile woman (Lana Morris), whose blood was on the discarded jumper after she slashed her wrist in a suicide attempt.
Wynne's best friend Corinne (Clare Sutcliffe) teases her about her crush on George and, when the family goes out on a picnic, Corinne even flirts with him; he gets angry at her for acting like a "pathetic little mini-tart", and pins her down roughly on the ground. Corinne runs off, and later telephones Wynne to tell her she will stay out all night with an unnamed boy who, she says, they both know. Wynne gets worried about her friend, goes searching for her, and finds Corinne's dead body. When the murderer sees Wynne, he chases and corners her. He seems to break down in distress, as he genuinely likes her, at which point the police arrive.