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 (SD) on Amazon Video

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Jim Ackland, who suffers from a head injury sustained in a bus crash, is the chief suspect in a murder hunt, when a girl that he has just met is found dead on the local common, and he has ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Ward Baker
Stars: John Mills, Joan Greenwood, Edward Chapman
Dear Murderer (1947)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When successful business man Lee Warren suspects his wife is having an affair, he sets out find her lover, kill him, and make it look like suicide. Complications set in, when he finds out ... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Crabtree
Stars: Eric Portman, Greta Gynt, Dennis Price
Hell Bound (1957)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 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
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A group of "spies" is after the plans for an anti-aircraft gun, and the leader uses the opportunity to embroil the Lone Wolf in the plot. Trying to settle an old score, this shady character... See full summary »

Director: Peter Godfrey
Stars: Warren William, Ida Lupino, Rita Hayworth
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
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A disreputable Korean War veteran is suspected of murder.

Director: Lee Sholem
Stars: John Bromfield, Julie London, Henry Calvin
Arrowhead (1953)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 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
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Caroline Ruthyn is the teen-aged niece of the her uncle Silas, a sickly and at one time unbalanced man who becomes her guardian on the death of her father. The fact that Silas is broke and ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Frank
Stars: Jean Simmons, Derrick De Marney, Katina Paxinou
Crashout (1955)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The survivors of a prison break set out on an arduous journey to retrieve some loot.

Director: Lewis R. Foster
Stars: William Bendix, Arthur Kennedy, Luther Adler
Certificate: Passed Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When Scott Carey begins to shrink because of exposure to a combination of radiation and insecticide, medical science is powerless to help him.

Director: Jack Arnold
Stars: Grant Williams, Randy Stuart, April Kent
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A husband cheats on his disabled wife--who has been paralyzed in a car accident--with her sister. When the sister is murdered he is accused of the crime, but it turns out that he may not be the killer after all.

Director: Francis Searle
Stars: Helen Shingler, Clement McCallin, Sheila Burrell


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) »


...when hate breaks loose! (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?


First Hammer film of George Woodbridge. 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: