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The Upturned Glass (1947) More at IMDbPro »

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John Monaghan (from the original story by)
John Monaghan (screenplay) ...
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Release Date:
29 December 1947 (Portugal) See more »
A prominent neurosurgeon relates to his students in medical school a story about an affair he had with a married woman and how... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
10 gripping British thrillers of the 1940s
 (From Den of Geek. 18 June 2013, 1:12 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A doctor dispenses death and healing with blind impartiality. See more (12 total) »


  (in credits order)

James Mason ... Michael Joyce
Rosamund John ... Emma Wright
Pamela Mason ... Kate Howard (as Pamela Kellino)
Ann Stephens ... Ann Wright
Morland Graham ... Clay
Brefni O'Rorke ... Dr. Farrell
Henry Oscar ... Coroner
Jane Hylton ... Miss Marsh
Sheila Huntington ... 1st Girl Student
Susan Shaw ... 2nd Girl Student
Peter Cotes ... Male Student
Nuna Davey ... Mrs. Jenny Deva
Judith Carol ... Joan Scott-Trotter
John Monaghan ... U.S. Driver (as Jno. P. Monaghan)
Maurice Denham ... Mobile Policeman
Janet Burnell ... Sylvia - Party Guest
Margaret Withers ... Party Guest
Beatrice Varley ... Injured Girl's Mother
Hélène Burls ... Farm Laborer's Wife (as Helene Burls)
Howard Douglas ... Lorry Driver
Richard Afton ... Lorry Driver's Mate
Lyn Evans ... County Policeman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Cyril Chamberlain ... Junior Doctor (uncredited)
George Merritt ... Policeman (uncredited)
Glyn Rowland ... Policeman (uncredited)
John Stone ... Male Student (uncredited)

Directed by
Lawrence Huntington 
Writing credits
John Monaghan (from the original story by) (as Jno P. Monaghan)

John Monaghan (screenplay) (as Jno. P. Monaghan) and
Pamela Mason (screenplay) (as Pamela Kellino)

Produced by
Betty E. Box .... associate producer
Sydney Box .... producer
James Mason .... producer
Original Music by
Bernard Stevens 
Cinematography by
Reginald H. Wyer 
Film Editing by
Alan Osbiston 
Art Direction by
Andrew Mazzei 
Costume Design by
Makeup Department
Nell Taylor .... makeup artist
Production Management
Antony Darnborough .... production manager
Fraser Foulsham .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Basil Keys .... assistant director
Sound Department
Stephen Dalby .... sound recordist
John W. Mitchell .... sound recordist (as John Mitchell)
George Burgess .... sound supervisor (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Bernard Lewis .... camera (as Bernie Lewis)
Cyril Stanborough .... still photographer (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Jean Barker .... cutter
Music Department
Muir Mathieson .... conductor: The London Symphony Orchestra
Other crew
J. Arthur Rank .... presenter

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
90 min | 83 min (DVD)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)

Did You Know?

Michael Joyce:Up to this point in the present series of lectures, we've dealt exclusively with abnormal mentalities. I emphasise the fact that in civilised communities eighty percent of our murderers and violent criminals were those whose minds had been conditioned by exceptional nervous stress and unhealthy environment...See more »
We Plough the Fields and ScatterSee more »


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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
A doctor dispenses death and healing with blind impartiality., 4 April 2012
Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom

The Upturned Glass is directed by Lawrence Huntington and written by John Monaghan and Pamela Kellino. It stars James Mason, Rosamund John, Pamela Kellino, Ann Stephens, Morland Graham and Brefni O'Rorke. Music is by Bernard Stevens and cinematography by Reginald H. Wyer. Plot finds Mason as Michael, a brilliant surgeon who falls in love with Emma Wright (John), the mother of a young girl whose eyesight he saves. Trouble is that Emma is married to a man who works overseas a lot and it's a relationship that ultimately has to end. When word comes that Emma has been tragically killed after falling out of a top floor window at her home, Michael decides to investigate further. It's an investigation that leads Michael down very dark roads.....

What a time to go buy a house, you must be demented!

One of the last British films Mason made before leaving for America to work contractually for MGM, The Upturned Glass is a Hitchcockian like thriller that's tinted with a film noir edge. With Mason co-producing and his then wife, Kellino, co-starring and co-writing, it was very much a personal project. The film finds the "Mason's" experimenting with a flashback structure that is in turn covered by a Mason narration. Always easy to follow, the picture does however shy away from offering up easy answers, purposely leaving some things tantalisingly dangling in the air. It also retains a murder mystery interest before diving head first into that of a study of a psychological break down. There's some devilment in the narrative, even a bit of cheeky daring that shows its hand once Mason's lecture that opens the film is seen in the light it was meant to be.

Today I sat in judgement.

With Wyer's photography dealing in shadows and smoky lenses, and Huntington showing a keen eye for atmospheric composition during scenes involving the empty house and the village chapel, there's enough visual treats for the film noir crowd to feast on. Into the equation as well is the vagaries of fate, a theme so prominent in the great noir pictures of the past, the outcome of this picture is defined by a decision Michael makes, the irony of which is as snappy as a crocodile. The finale has been lamented by others due to its suddeness, to that I have to say they missed the point, it's suitably cold and closes the picture perfectly. The title has even been called into question, some even saying it has nothing to do with the film or is unfitting? It all fits during the best period of dialogue between Michael and Dr. Farrell (O'Rorke)! I do believe this is a film worthy of reappraisal by a more genre compliant audience.

It's not overtly film noir, but the blood line is there, and with Mason on simply irresistible form this is highly recommended to fans of noir and Hitchcockian flavoured black and whites. 7.5/10 MPI's Region 1 DVD is a decent print, some snap and pop from time to time on the edges, and the sound mix is always audible if not pristine throughout.

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