6.3/10
324
14 user 2 critic

Town on Trial (1957)

Approved | | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery | August 1957 (USA)
At a local tennis club in a posh London suburb, an attractive but flirty young woman is murdered, prompting a Scotland Yard investigation.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Dr. John Fenner
...
...
...
Peter Crowley (as Alec Mc Cowen)
...
Mrs. Crowley
...
Charles Dixon
...
Helen Dixon
...
Sgt. Rogers
Harry Locke ...
...
Dr. Reese
...
Leslie (Bandleader)
...
Mary Roper
Magda Miller ...
Molly Stevens
Newton Blick ...
Asst. Commissioner Beckett
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Storyline

When an attractive young girl is murdered, suspicion falls on several members of the local tennis club. It falls to Police Inspector Halloran to sort out all the red herrings, and finally after a confrontation at the top of the local church spire, arrest the culprit. Another fascinating look at what life was like in Britain during the 50's, Written by mike.wilson6@btinternet.com

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Taglines:

The crimes that put a Town on Trial See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

August 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Town on Trial  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The map of Oakley Park shown at the beginning of the film is actually of Banbury, Oxfordshire. See more »

Goofs

Halloran allows himself to be taken for a turn around the Oakley Park boating lake by Elizabeth, but the camera/background shakes more violently when on him (physically rowing the boat in the location footage) than when framing his more sedate companion (in footage shot separately). See more »

Quotes

Supt. Mike Halloran: This killer is going to strike again. I know the pattern. I've seen it a dozen times. If we handle this town with kid gloves on, there's going to be another funeral within a week.
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Soundtracks

Lynch Fever
(uncredited)
Music by Trevor Duncan
Josef Weinberger Music Ltd
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User Reviews

 
A competent, reasonably entertaining but ultimately unmemorable thriller
28 April 2012 | by See all my reviews

"Town on Trial" is the kind of film that is simply not made these days. I imagine it is the sort of thing that formed part of the staple repertoire of B-movies that were shown in cinemas in the days when filmgoers were treated to an appetiser before the main feature was aired. Such films were usually unpretentious, workmanlike dramas that provided solid but unmemorable entertainment to get patrons in the mood for the (hopefully) more sophisticated fare that was to follow. "Town on Trial" is a good example of that kind of film.

The plot concerns the investigation into the murder of a femme fatale in the commuter-belt town of Oakley Park in what I assume is meant to be southern England of the 1950s. The investigation is undertaken by Superintendent Halloran (John Mills), who becomes romantically involved with the niece of the town's GP. A further murder takes place before Superintendent Halloran solves the case.

Any critical analysis of a film such as this is largely superfluous. "Town on Trial" knows exactly what it is doing - and delivers a solidly entertaining mystery that has the air of an early forerunner of an episode of the current British TV series "Midsomer Murders". The cast includes an impressive array of well-known British character actors of the time, such as Raymond Huntley, Derek Farr, Fay Compton, Harry Fowler, Geoffrey Keen, Margaretta Scott and the wonderfully-named Totti Truman Taylor. It is competently directed and scripted and, while it will not live long in the memory, provides 90 minutes or so of undemanding entertainment. 6/10.


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