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 ...
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Brenda de Banzie
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
The Boulting Brothers stray from their usual cheery British comedy films to make this effective and thoughtful thriller. Leaving the plotting to one side, it is remarkable as, at that time, the Government was laying the basis for the U.K.'s independent atomic deterrent and the effects of Atomic and Nuclear testing were never discussed. (ask the poor soldiers who watched the tests in Australia!) The issue is never resolved, and in the end the Professor can't make his case publicly.
Part of the film shows the evacuation of London. It harks back to the great evacuations of 1939/4 and invokes the same spirit. Oddly enough, Wartime studios had not portrayed the Home Front (other than nods to Fire Services or War-Work)and perhaps this is a belated look back. It does show one incident that would never have passed the wartime censor's pencil- the shooting of looters.
Other cultural notes: How easy it was for the studios to clear London even then the most traffic congested city in England, and to get the army to lend hundreds of personnel (and demonstrate their efficiency). And the great attraction of the old 1950's films: glimpses of bomb sites, long lost street scenes and forgotten buildings.
Watch it and remember its been 55 years since this film was made and 7/7. I don't think the genre was attempted again. Instead Studios turned to Sci-Fi ( a thin disguise for the external Russian menace).
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