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The Final Test (1953)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Sport | 5 January 1954 (USA)
Sam Palmer is a cricket player who is playing the last Test match of his career. His schoolboy son, Reggie, is a budding poet who disappoints Sam by not attending the penultimate day's play... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Warner ...
George Relph ...
Adrianne Allen ...
Ray Jackson ...
Brenda Bruce ...
Stanley Maxted ...
Joan Swinstead ...
John Glyn-Jones ...
Mr. Willis
Len Hutton ...
Len Hutton - England Cricketer
Denis Compton ...
Denis Compton - England Cricketer
Alec Bedser ...
Alec Bedser - England Cricketer
Godfrey Evans ...
Godfrey Evans - England Cricketer
Jim Laker ...
Jim Laker - England Cricketer
Cyril Washbrook ...
Cyril Washbrook - England Cricketer


Sam Palmer is a cricket player who is playing the last Test match of his career. His schoolboy son, Reggie, is a budding poet who disappoints Sam by not attending the penultimate day's play. Then Reggie is suddenly invited to the home of poet and writer Alexander Whitehead. Reggie fears he will also miss the final day - and therefore Sam's last innings - but it turns out that Alexander is a cricket fan. Written by Brian Henke <Cincy43235@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

cricket the game | See All (1) »


Comedy | Drama | Sport


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 January 1954 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At the end of the first day of England's innings it is said that they scored 320. The next day on the radio, John Arlott says 283. See more »


Remake of BBC Sunday-Night Theatre: The Final Test (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

An average film that fails to deliver sports, characters, a script or any sense of emotional involvement
10 October 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

An American Senator arrives in England to hear people talking of England collapsing and all the newspaper headlines talking of failure and 'being finished'. Concerned for this small island nation he looks for some optimism but finds from a taxi driver that it is all about the test match between England and Australia and not the country itself. Interested he goes along to watch the final days of the test match and joins the throngs there to see the great Sam Palmer plays the final overs of an illustrious career. However Sam is a bit distracted by his desire for his poet son Reggie to be in the crowd to watch him end his career, especially since Reggie is no real fan of cricket and has other things he wants to do – namely meeting the famous playwright and poet Alexander Whitehead.

Listed on IMDb as a 'comedy', I must admit that the words of one character rang true with me when she said of a TV play 'I thought you said this was a comedy – well it probably gets more comedy later on'. However I quickly realized that the listing on this site was wrong and that this is not in any shape a comedy, even if it has vaguely amusing moments in it; rather it is a drama about a father and son relationship against the backdrop of cricket. The potential was there for a well-written piece with a good script delivering good characters with hurts, longings and differences between them, but it really doesn't get anywhere near doing that. If I told you that Sam is slightly stern and repressed about his son's disinterest in the sport that he loves then I have probably done a better job at informing you of their character than the script actually does during the whole 90 minutes. Aside from the obvious scenes of vague tension and argument the film never really does anything to actually get to the core of their relationship.

On top of this we also have some other issues put in as well such as those around the barmaid Cora and the other stuff around Whitehead; neither of these really hit the mark either and just give the film a rather aimless feel. With a lack of teeth to any part of the film, a few laughs could have done the world of good but it doesn't really have any of them either, with only some amusing aspects that don't really do anything of any merit. This is not to say it is bad, just distinctly average. As a sports film it is a non-event with very little actual cricket 'action' to speak of – but I imagine many viewers will enjoy the very English conclusion to Sam's career, typically downbeat and warming.

The cast is OK but they don't have a great deal to work with. Warner is stiff and looks like he has emotions just below his surface but the script gives him no help with this at all and his efforts are wasted with it. Jackson is an annoying little twerp and he does nothing to really make me interested in him or his character in the least. Bruce doesn't have a clue what she is supposed to be doing and it shows. Allen is OK, as are Maxted and a few others in support roles. Given a colourful character, Morley brings some much needed life to the film and steals all his scenes.

Overall this is an average film that is more notable for its missed opportunities rather than what it actually does well. Despite the nicely downbeat conclusion the film is pretty average and unmemorable, failing to deliver characters, a script or any real sense of emotional involvement.

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