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Mr. Denning Drives North (1951)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 2 September 1953 (USA)
When well-off aircraft designer Denning finds his daughter's current boyfriend is a nasty character he tries to buy him off, ending up hitting him and causing his death when he falls. ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Tom Denning
Phyllis Calvert ...
Kay Denning
Eileen Moore ...
Liz Denning
...
Chick Eddowes
...
Mados
Raymond Huntley ...
Wright
Russell Waters ...
Harry Stoper
...
Woods
Freda Jackson ...
Ma Smith
...
Ted Smith
Sheila Shand Gibbs ...
Matilda
...
Inspector Dodds
...
Chairman of Court
Ronald Adam ...
Coroner
John Stuart ...
Wilson
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Storyline

When well-off aircraft designer Denning finds his daughter's current boyfriend is a nasty character he tries to buy him off, ending up hitting him and causing his death when he falls. Instead of calling the police he dumps the body in a lonely spot on the road to the North, making it look like a hit-and-run accident. Weeks later there is still no report of the body being found, and Denning starts to go to pieces. When he lets his wife into his secret the two start making enquiries, possibly making things worse. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

british noir | based on novel | See All (2) »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 September 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Asylliptos dolofonos  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are spoken, giving just the two main stars and brief supporting cast. The full credits are shown at the end. See more »

Connections

Features The Four Feathers (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

I do like to be beside the seaside
(uncredited)
Written by John Glover Kind
Played on a record player by the mortuary attendant and heard as a theme over the end credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Unexpectedly Nice Inverted Thriller.
11 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have only seen this film once, and that was over two decades ago. Channel 9 in New York, one August, decided to show only British movies all month, and I happened to see this one. I wish it was revived on cable or Channel 13, but it is relatively obscure - unfairly so.

Herbert Lom has been romancing Eileen Moore, whose father is a wealthy airplane manufacturer played by John Mills. Mills and his wife, Phyllis Calvert, don't like Lom who is older than their daughter, and who is too mysterious in his background. Mills has Lom checked out, and discovers that he is a bad lot. So he goes to Lom to pay him off to leave his daughter alone. But Lom refuses, and in a confrontation, Mills accidentally causes Lom to fall and hit his head (killing him). Mills comes up with a plan to drop Lom's body off on a road and let it look like Lom was the victim of an auto accident.

Time passes, and for some reason the police fail to notice Lom's absence. Mills grows increasingly nervous - what if they don't discover the corpse. What if they check out Lom's apartment and find some clue that leads back to Mills. Moore, in the meantime, begins to show curiosity about Lom's disappearance. Not that she wanted to continue the relationship with Lom - she has met Sam Wanamaker, an American born attorney who is far more acceptable material as a potential husband.

Mills tells Calvert about the truth and they start trying to push the authorities (subtly, of course) into attending to the area where the body was dropped. But the details that they manage to drop have an effect that they did not expect. Moore starts wondering if Lom has been killed, and Wanamaker (to show his care for her feelings) takes it upon himself to REALLY push the police into investigating the disappearance. Soon the police do find traces of the incident, but they are looking at it rather darkly - like a murder (which it was). Mills keeps taking time to parry the police thrusts, but finds he has no way of covering up anything from the overly eager Wanamaker. Soon he is in for a second shock, when the dead man's brother shows up (played by Lom again). Now there are several interested parties in the search for the missing man. And the issue is, has Mills plan slipped up, or will he get away with it.

If the film had been made in America in 1952 the ending would have not been the same. This film had a very satisfactory, surprise ending - if you can catch it do so.


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