6.6/10
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8 user 3 critic

High Treason (1951)

Communist saboteurs plot peace-time attack on Britain.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Liam Redmond ...
Cmdr. Robert Brennan
...
...
Maj. Elliott
Kenneth Griffith ...
Jimmy Ellis
Patric Doonan ...
George Ellis
Joan Hickson ...
Mrs. Ellis
...
Grant Mansfield
...
Anna Braun
Geoffrey Keen ...
Morgan Williams
Stuart Lindsell ...
Commissioner
...
Stringer
...
Mrs. Bowers
Charles Lloyd Pack ...
Percy Ward
...
Reginald Gordon-Wells
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Julian Amyes
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Storyline

Communist saboteurs plot peace-time attack on Britain.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

british noir | See All (1) »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

20 May 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alta Traição  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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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

When Kenneth Griffith climbs into the attic and uses the wireless, his Morse code is accurate. He sends out an SOS and calls "all large power stations." See more »

Quotes

Cmdr. Robert Brennan: We have a saying in Ireland that he who sees the dawn catches the herring.
Supt. Folland: There's a saying in China that he who goes to bed early to save candle light begets twins.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
McCarthy in Britain?
4 January 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This movie would be worthy of further research - but it's popped up at 4 in the morning during an insomnia bout and it'll have to wait.... for instance, the term Communist is never used, though the plot is quote clear by implication. The foreign agent is Russian, the newspapers run headlines about military buildups in 'the East' and the saboteurs are a mix of 'militant' dockers, effete 'intellectuals' who smoke pipes, run contemporary art galleries and go to string trio recitals of work by Berg. There are of course the hapless naives enmeshed by ruthless political manipulators and terrorists - they use that word - who at the last moment realise their errors and raise the alarm in time to save the entire electricity generating capacity of the UK!

I was surprised at how early on in the Cold War this film appeared as it would have been scripted/made in the year that Sen McCarthy came into prominence in the US - could it have been one of the factors that set him and the rest wolf pack on the hunt? It was actually made by one of the Boulting brothers, better known for their later comedies, though Roy made a reputation with propaganda/morale boosting titles in the 40s, so no surprise he sounded the alarums across the Iron Curtain in this title. Following more in the British tradition of that time of 'dramatised documentary', it has some remarkable scenes of seedy, filthy post-War London, using an Irish lead character to soften the obvious class divisions rampant throughout the plot, an irony no doubt, not lost on the co-writer, Frank Harvey, who also played one of the Scotland Yard team who had the shoot-out with the class enemies at the thriller's end.

Frank was to die later in Sydney, Australia - which is where I saw the film, in the wee small hours. Maybe Frank is where Australia's 'hunt for Reds' came from in the 50s too..... or maybe I'm just being too naive, like this movie..... It's a great example of the way in which popular cinema can insinuate that socially and culturally specific groups can be a danger to an imagined national security by heightening the sense of 'the other' (and unknown), breeding distrust and suspicion, enabling those in power to remain secure.


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