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Seven Days to Noon (1950)

An English scientist runs away from a research center with an atomic bomb. In a letter sent to the British Prime Minister he threatens to blow up the center of London if the Government ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Olive Sloane ...
Goldie
...
Superintendent Folland (as Andre Morell)
Sheila Manahan ...
Ann Willingdon
Hugh Cross ...
Stephen Lane
Joan Hickson ...
Mrs. Peckett
...
The Prime Minister
Marie Ney ...
Mrs. Willingdon
Wyndham Goldie ...
Rev. Burgess
Russell Waters ...
Det. Davis
Martin Boddey ...
Gen. Willoughby
Frederick Allen ...
Himself - BBC Newsreader
...
Private Jackson
Geoffrey Keen ...
Alf
Merrill Mueller ...
Himself - American Commentator
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Storyline

An English scientist runs away from a research center with an atomic bomb. In a letter sent to the British Prime Minister he threatens to blow up the center of London if the Government don't announce the end of any research in this field within a week. Special agents from Scotland Yard try to stop him, with help from the scientist's assistant future son-in-law to find and stop the mad man. Written by Jean-Marie Berthiaume <jiembe@videotron.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Boulting Bros. Thriller With a Difference!

Genres:

Thriller | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

18 December 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ultimatum  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There are a number of literary references in Seven Days to Noon: Among the jottings on Professor Willingdon's notes -- "The wicked beareth rule" is from the Bible, Proverbs 29:2 (...when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn) and "Thus with a mighty fall shall Babylon the great city be cast down" Revelation 18:21; "Dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon" comes from John Milton's Samson Agonistes, a play about the biblical character, Samson, who is granted the power to destroy the temple and kill all the Philistines (and himself). The professor later quotes Revelation 6:4, "The horse came forth, the red horse, and to him that sat thereon was given to take the peace from the earth. And there was given unto him a great sword." The speaker in Hyde Park says "There shall be wars and rumors of wars." Nearly identical words are found in Matthew 24:6, Mark 13:7 and the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 25:12. A man carries a sandwich board quoting "The wages of sin is death," again from the Bible, Romans 6:23. See more »

Goofs

The Special Branch dossier on Willingdon gives his forename as John Francis, with an 1893 birthdate (making him 57, as the film explicitly occurs in 1950). But his Wallingford security ID names him John Malcolm, aged 55; later David refers to him as Professor JT Willingdon. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Package Of Destruction
6 January 2009 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Seven Days To Noon is ironically one of those films that has grown into the times rather than be dated. It's certainly a relevant film given the threat of nuclear terror today.

But back in 1950 I don't believe the technical expertise was there so that Barry Jones or anyone else could have put a device like that in a briefcase. Take a look at pictures of Fat Man and Little Boy the code names for the weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Those things could not have fit in a briefcase and developments hadn't advanced that far in five years. Now sad to say it actually could be done.

Barry Jones is an atomic scientist who is suffering from fatigue and overwork and a questioning mind about what exactly he's developing. His mind snaps and he takes one of the weapons Great Britain has been developing and sends a letter to the Prime Minister. Issue a statement you'll stop the program or he's going to explode his package on Sunday at high noon.

That sets up a manhunt for Jones throughout the United Kingdom, but especially of course in London. His note does specify the seat of the government. Andre Morrell as a Scotland Yard Inspector, Hugh Cross as one of his fellow scientists who will have to disarm the device once located, and Sheila Manahan as his daughter lead the search for Jones and the package of destruction he has.

Despite the fact that it was a technological impossibility in 1950, Seven Days To Noon is still an effective thriller of a film, worthy of a Hitchcock. It's interesting that they came close to getting Jones a few times before they do catch up. Best in the film is Olive Sloane the frowzy former music hall entertainer who Jones holds as a hostage for a while. She wants to do her bit as well as she's trying to get to Aldershot to entertain the troops.

Seven Days To Noon got an Oscar for Best Screen Story. It remains one of the few films that actually grew technologically and became more relevant now than when it first came out.


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