IMDb > The Final Test (1953)

The Final Test (1953) More at IMDbPro »


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Terence Rattigan (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Final Test on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 January 1954 (USA) See more »
Sam Palmer is a cricket player who is playing the last Test match of his career. His schoolboy son, Reggie... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Jack's last stand See more (8 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Jack Warner ... Sam Palmer

Robert Morley ... Alexander Whitehead
George Relph ... Syd Thompson
Adrianne Allen ... Aunt Ethel

Ray Jackson ... Reggie Palmer
Brenda Bruce ... Cora
Stanley Maxted ... Senator
Joan Swinstead ... Miss Fanshawe
John Glyn-Jones ... Mr. Willis
Len Hutton ... Himself - England Cricketer
Denis Compton ... Himself - England Cricketer
Alec Bedser ... Himself - England Cricketer
Godfrey Evans ... Himself - England Cricketer
Jim Laker ... Himself - England Cricketer
Cyril Washbrook ... Himself - England Cricketer
John Arlott ... Himself - BBC Cricket Commentator (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Richard Bebb ... Frank Weller (uncredited)
Hyma Beckley ... Cricket Match Spectator (uncredited)

Valentine Dyall ... Man in Black (voice) (uncredited)
Fred Griffiths ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Roddy Hughes ... Mr. Harborne (uncredited)

Duncan Lamont ... Unpleasant Pub Customer (uncredited)
Johnnie Schofield ... Railway Porter (uncredited)

Anita Sharp-Bolster ... Daisy (uncredited)

Richard Wattis ... Cricket Fan in the Stand. (uncredited)
Audrey White ... Television Announcer (uncredited)
Ben Williams ... Ticket Collector (uncredited)

Directed by
Anthony Asquith 
Writing credits
Terence Rattigan (screenplay)

Terence Rattigan  television play (uncredited)

Produced by
R.J. Minney .... producer
Earl St. John .... executive producer (as Earl St John)
Original Music by
Benjamin Frankel 
Cinematography by
William McLeod (director of photography) (as Bill McLeod)
Film Editing by
Helga Cranston 
Casting by
Weston Drury Jr. (uncredited)
Art Direction by
R. Holmes Paul  (as R. Holmes-Paul)
Makeup Department
Bob Lawrance .... makeup artist (as Bob Lawrence)
Production Management
Arthur Barnes .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Anthony Hearne .... assistant director (as Tony Hearne)
Phil Rigal .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Tom Sachs .... third assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Alec Gray .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Iris Newell .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Harry Booth .... sound editor
A. Charles Knott .... sound recordist (as Charles Knott)
Gordon K. McCallum .... sound recordist
Claude Hitchcock .... boom operator (uncredited)
Mickey Jay .... boom assistant (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Bill Allan .... camera operator (as William Allan)
Steve Claydon .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Ronnie Pilgrim .... still photographer (uncredited)
Richard Robinson .... focus puller (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Harry Booth .... first assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Benjamin Frankel .... conductor
Other crew
Arthur Alcott .... production controller: Pinewood Studios
Alf Gover .... technical adviser
Kathleen Hosgood .... continuity
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

USA:84 min | UK:90 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Did You Know?

Continuity: 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 »
Reggie Palmer:I'm afraid I don't awfully like cricket.
Alexander Whitehead:Don't you really? I have heard of such people.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Remade as The Final Test (1961) (TV)See more »


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17 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
Jack's last stand, 16 October 2004
Author: Oct ( from London, England

Like Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter, playwright Terence Rattigan was a cricket devotee. But non-fans need not shun "The Final Test": it contains little cricketing action, and the game's mysteries are sent up by having a baffled visiting American senator interrogate a supercilious Richard Wattis about them. The Test of the title is much more one of loyalty and of the relationship between an older and younger man, like weightier Rattigan works such as "The Winslow Boy", "The Browning Version" and "Man and Boy".

Quickly filmed after being one of the earliest British TV plays by an established writer, "The Final Test" is a cheap and cheerful comedy. Documentary footage of real play at the Oval, South London, is hardly up to "Zelig" standards in melding into the studio shots. The film stocks do not match, and the crowd's rush into the ground is evidently back-projected. The setting is less grand than one associates with Rattigan. It is Cowardesque in the vein of "This Happy Breed", with a sauce bottle on the dinner table: the hero, Sam Palmer, is a professional batsman who has done well enough to give his son a fee-paying education. The only "posh" character besides Wattis is Robert Morley's pompous poet and playwright, whom the literary-minded son would rather visit than watch his dad play his last innings against the Australian tourists. Luckily Morley proves to be a cricket maniac and all ends well.

Jack Warner's remarkable, belated rise from fairly blue music hall comic and Maurice Chevalier impersonator to one of Britain's leading character actors is consolidated here. He can be humorous, gruff, judicious... and all in the same scene if required. There is no trace of the over-expressiveness of so many comedians trying to act. Though pushing 60, Warner looks no older than the real doyen of the English side, Cyril Washbrook, who along with a handful of colleagues nervously plays himself (no role is harder for a non-pro). The widowed Warner has a fancy for a barmaid at his local pub, the gaunt Brenda Bruce, and he has his own retirement dilemmas to resolve: should he marry a woman who may have a past, and should he take a job coaching boys at Eton when his son is about to go to Oxford and mingle with Etonians on level terms?

"The Final Test" therefore has a few gentle remarks to drop about changing social values and snobberies in post-war Britain. Sam's captain, Len Hutton, urges him not to fuss so much about the pecking order: an amusing way of using a real-life character, since the great Yorkshireman was England's first professional cricket captain and would soon be knighted. Morley's TV play "Following a Turtle to My Father's Tomb", which Sam's son watches in rapture and which drives Sam out to the pub, is a spoof of the middlebrow poetic drama (TS Eliot, Christopher Fry) then in vogue, which Rattigan did not admire. One line, "the great dome of discovery that men call the sky", takes off the exhibit of that name in the recent Festival of Britain.

The deserved rehabilitation of Rattigan, with the likes of David Mamet doing him homage, gives fresh interest to a script which takes the boulevard playsmith outside his usual range. No doubt the film technicians' union approved the democratic spirit, since this was one of its occasional efforts, via ACT Films, at keeping its members in work. Director "Puffin" Asquith, though the son of an earl and ex-prime minister, was a keen union activist. Sam Palmer was Jack Warner's last big film part for a decade. He was soon to resurrect his slain copper from "The Blue Lamp" and become TV's most famous PC in "Dixon of Dock Green."

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