Work has been going with a bang for freelance assassin Hawkins but a job in England just after the war is a different matter. His apparently easy target, a pompous government minister, is ... See full summary »
After WW2, former RAF airman Clem Morgan joins a gang of black-market smugglers-thieves but when a robbery goes wrong, Clem is caught , framed for a policeman's murder, and is sent to prison where he plots his escape and revenge.
The plot pits Hornleigh and Bingham against a clever gang of Nazi espionage agents. Most of the action takes place aboard a speeding train, with our heroes never quite certain who can be ... See full summary »
When Secret Service agent David Somers is fired, he takes a quiet job with the Fentons at their country estate - cataloging butterflies, hence the title insect. David grows fond of Jess ... See full summary »
In a rural English hospital during WWII, a postman dies on the operating table. One of the nurses states that she has proof of who the murderer is. The facetious Inspector Cockrill suspects one of the five doctors and nurses who were in the operating theater to be the assassin. But four poisonous pills have disappeared.... Written by
Jean-Marie Berthiaume <email@example.com>
The lines quoted by Inspector Cockrill and Mr Eden come from 'The Merchant of Venice', Act 5 Scene 1. See more »
As the movie takes place in 1944 whilst Britain is being attacked by V1 bombs ('doodlebugs'), the windows and glass doors in the hospital should have been taped to prevent glass being shattered by an explosion and blowing in on people inside. See more »
The British film industry has had a chequered history, but was arguably at its finest in the 40's and 50's when it produced little gems like this.
Straightforwardly plotted convergent mysteries of this genre, with or without a major twist, never fail to give simple satisfaction when acted by such a cast of stalwarts and regular journeypersons as we find here. Some may find the stiff upper lips and well modulated tones of the middle classes a little grating for modern tastes, where nurses all speak naicely and ordinary folk are played by caricature cockneys. Speaking of stiff upper lips, their very personification Trevor Howard is, of course, in it, playing a surgeon with a cloud over his career. Which is why the whole is leavened by the unique figure of Alastair Sim.
No matter how serious the role he must play, his lugubrious features invariably betray an innate whimsicality, that essence of grown-up-naughty-schoolboy that we find so universally engaging, and which is the world's view of Britishness at its best. He makes it possible to insert a pratfall or quip to lighten the atmosphere without losing it.
Films like this were very easy and cheap to make - minimal locations, scenery munching, explosions or car wrecks. Current film makers might take note of their bang-per-buck in an era when nostalgic baby boomers are making their cinema presence felt again. But where will they find another Alastair Sim?
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