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The High Command (1937)

Not Rated | | Drama | 15 July 1938 (USA)
A general of the old school, who believes strongly in his own honour and sense of duty, must come to terms with a crime he commited years earlier, during the Irish War for Independence in 1921.


Thorold Dickinson


Walter Meade (dialogue), Lewis Robinson (novel) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Lionel Atwill ... Maj. Gen. Sir John Sangye, VC
Lucie Mannheim ... Diana Cloam
Steven Geray ... Martin Cloam (as Steve Geray)
James Mason ... Capt. Heverell
Leslie Perrins ... Maj. Carson
Allan Jeayes ... H.E., the Governor
Michael Lambart Michael Lambart ... Lorne
Kathleen Gibson Kathleen Gibson ... Belinda
Tom Gill Tom Gill ... Daunt
Wally Patch Wally Patch ... Crawford
Archibald Batty Archibald Batty ... Capt. Coates (the prosecutor)
Henry Hewitt Henry Hewitt ... Defence counsel
Drusilla Wills Drusilla Wills ... Miss Isabella Hobson Tuff
Cyril Howe Cyril Howe ... Julius Caesar (servant)
Evan Thomas Evan Thomas ... Chief Justice


A general of the old school, who believes strongly in his own honour and sense of duty, must come to terms with a crime he commited years earlier, during the Irish War for Independence in 1921.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »


HE BRAVED DEATH...rather than betray the one he loved...A powerful story of tangled lives!




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This is one of about three dozen British films picked up by CBS in 1949 for USA television presentation. Its initial telecasts as part of this series took place in Los Angeles Saturday 16 July 1949 on KTTV (Channel 11), in Chicago Sunday 23 October 1949 on WBKB (Channel 4), in New York City Saturday 26 November 1949 on WCBS (Channel 2), and in Boston Sunday 12 March 1950 on WNAC (Channel 7). Previously released in the USA by Grand National Pictures in a severely edited version, this shorter version had been telecast in New York City Friday 7 June 1946 by WNBT (Channel 4). See more »


At the opening of the film, in the Ireland sequence, the time is established by a curfew notice dated February 1921. The bullet retrieved from the scene of the shooting then is found preserved years later with a note indicating such, but is dated "12/11/21", nearly a year off. See more »

User Reviews

Director, cast and crew combining for a splendid film.
1 March 2002 | by rsoonsaSee all my reviews

Based upon a novel by Lewis Robinson, who assists with the script, HIGH COMMAND gives us a complex tale of blackmail, murder, and other delights, ranging over two continents and two generations, beginning in 1921 Ireland and concluding in West Africa (most of the film was shot in Nigeria and Gold Coast). General Sir John Sangye (Lionel Atwill), holder of the Victoria Cross and commander of a colonial garrison, in order to help protect his daughter Belinda (Kathleen Gibson) from unsavoury scandal, is forced into making several wrenching decisions, with Atwill giving the finest crafted performance of his career. In his first effort at directing a feature film, Thorold Dickinson displays the fluid work with a camera which marks his distinguished career, and has expertly taken a balance of drama and humour from the script while effectively leading his talented cast into strong performances, notably from Steven Geray, Leslie Perrins, James Mason and Lucie Mannheim. Dickinson, along with cinematographer Otto Heller, benefit from their background in silent cinema, and Ernest Irving's score is adroitly woven into the action, all of which assists in effectuating a masterwork.

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Release Date:

15 July 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alto mando See more »

Filming Locations:

Ghana See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (edited)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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