13 user 6 critic

Cloudburst (1951)

Approved | | Mystery | July 1951 (UK)
A Canadian World War II veteran working for the British Foreign Office scours England for the killer who murdered his wife.



(story and screenplay), (screenplay)

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Amazon Video

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In Britain, a Manchester police inspector becomes obsessed with capturing a criminal who escapes from prison.

Director: Val Guest
Stars: Stanley Baker, John Crawford, Donald Pleasence
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A drug dealer tries to kill his partner's daughter, when she inherits an old house.

Director: Terence Fisher
Stars: Guy Rolfe, Rona Anderson, Francis Lister
The Big Combo (1955)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown's girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.

Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Stars: Richard Conte, Jean Wallace, Cornel Wilde
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Three men case a small town very carefully, with plans to rob the bank on the upcoming Saturday, which turns violent and deadly.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Victor Mature, Richard Egan, Stephen McNally
The Third Key (1956)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Police drama. The sleuths of Scotland Yard try to solve a series of burglaries.

Director: Charles Frend
Stars: Jack Hawkins, John Stratton, Dorothy Alison
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A wheelchair-bound young woman returns to her father's estate after ten years, and although she's told he's away, she keeps seeing his dead body on the estate.

Director: Seth Holt
Stars: Susan Strasberg, Ann Todd, Ronald Lewis
Checkpoint (1956)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Stanley Baker's character is sent to steal the plans from another company of their racing car designs, to ensure his employers win the competition. However when opening a safe containing ... See full summary »

Director: Ralph Thomas
Stars: Anthony Steel, Odile Versois, Stanley Baker
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Director Jules Dassin (Night and the City) combines the best of film noir, crime caper and romance in this little gem starring Lucille Ball, John Hodiak and Lloyd Nolan.

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Lucille Ball, John Hodiak, Lloyd Nolan
Hell Bound (1957)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

After WW2, a Los Angeles crime ring uses a complex scheme, involving freight ships and corrupt health officers, to smuggle drugs into the USA.

Director: William J. Hole Jr.
Stars: John Russell, June Blair, Stuart Whitman
Arrowhead (1953)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Chief of Scouts Ed Bannon works for the US Army at Fort Clark, Texas and he dreams of aiding in bringing peace to the region, despite opposition from both the Army and the Apaches.

Director: Charles Marquis Warren
Stars: Charlton Heston, Jack Palance, Katy Jurado
Duffy (1968)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Duffy is a cunning aristocrat of criminals who is hired by Stefane, a young playboy, to hijack a boat carrying several million dollars of his father's fortune. The plot succeeds, with a ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Parrish
Stars: James Coburn, James Mason, James Fox
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

A scientist, working with genetics, creates a creature that is capable of transforming back and forth between a giant Death Head moth and a beautiful woman. The creature masquerades as his ... See full summary »

Director: Vernon Sewell
Stars: Peter Cushing, Robert Flemyng, Wanda Ventham


Cast overview, first billed only:
Carol Graham
Colin Tapley ...
Inspector Davis
Sheila Burrell ...
Lorna Dawson
Harold Lang ...
Mickie Fraser / Kid Python
Mary Germaine ...
Peggy Reece
Thomas Heathcote ...
George Woodbridge ...
Sergeant Ritchie
Lyn Evans ...
Chuck Peters
Edith Sharpe ...
Mrs. Reece
James Mills ...
Daphne Anderson ...
Edward Lexy ...
Noel Howlett ...


A Canadian World War II veteran working for the British Foreign Office scours England for the killer who murdered his wife.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on play | See All (1) »


He had murdered once! NOW he was ready to strike again ...and no one could catch him but HIMSELF! (UK poster) See more »





Parents Guide:





Release Date:

July 1951 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was the first Hammer film to be made at Bray Studios. See more »


Near the beginning of the movie, Inspector Davis asks someone from his office what a "cryptographer" is. It is inconceivable that a Scotland Yard Inspector wouldn't know that. See more »


John Graham: [looks at the crossword his wife has been doing] Well... you've filled in nine words... You must have been here for hours.
See more »


Featured in The World of Hammer: Hammer (1994) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

My hatred would overwhelm me like a cloudburst.
11 October 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Cloudburst is written and directed by Francis Searle and adapted from the novel by Leo Marks. It stars Robert Preston, Elizabeth Sellars, Colin Tapley, Sheila Burrell, Harold Lang, Mary Germaine, George Woodbridge and Edith Sharpe. Music is by Frank Spencer and cinematography by Walter J. Harvey.

Preston plays John Graham, a Canadian World War II veteran working for the British Foreign Office who trawls England looking for the two hit and run killers who callously murdered his pregnant wife.

Violent, grim and utterly wonderful! Cloudburst is the sort of British noir just crying out to be discovered by more classic film fans.

London 1946 is the backdrop, a changing post war landscape, and we are introduced to John and Elizabeth Graham, both war vets, and in Elizabeth's case, a survivor of torture at the hands of the Gestapo. These are two tough characters without doubt, but the love between them positively bristles on the screen, it feels genuine, it is touching and Searle does a great job of building up the bond between the two before tragedy strikes and sends John Graham on a mission from which he doesn't care if he returns.

Everything's dark isn't it?

John is ex-forces trained and a specialist in cryptography (medal winner for bravery), he not only has the skills for tracking people down, he also has friends willing to do anything for him. We are left in no doubt that he is admired by his ex-army buddies, they would run through brick walls for him, while Carol's family adore him and obviously share his grief. The police are led by intrepid Inspector Davis (Tapley), who in a delicious kink in the narrative seeks out the help of John to catch John himself!

You killed the three of us that night...

With Leo Marks being a real servant of WWII as head of the Special Operations Executive, you can easily grasp the narrative sting involving the horrors of war and post war survivors who returned battered and bruised but unbowed. Further thematic thrust comes by way of vengeance and the perfect noir area where moral killings come to the fore. John Graham becomes an obsessed man, a dangerous weapon who will stop at nothing to achieve his aims, his fall back option should the need arise is a cyanide pill pinned under his jacket collar.

When you're being tortured, remember the first lie's the most important. You may never get a chance to tell another.

As Harvey photographs it in moody black and whites, Searle adds a doom laded atmosphere with close ups, where sweat, smoke and pain are thrust to the front of the screen. The fights are well staged, a torture scene excellent because it seeps with menace without having to hit us in the face, and in Lorna Dawson (Burrell) we have one cold bitch who leaves an indelible impression with the minimum amount of screen time. Cast are great, especially Preston, while Spencer's score dovetails smartly with the changing tones of the plot.

Codes, both moral and cryptic, come crashing together in a must see for anyone interested in British film noir. 8.5/10

8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Milkman Peter_051151
on THISTV today March 13 2013 11am EST and honeylocs
Discuss Cloudburst (1951) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: