16 user 3 critic

The Next of Kin (1942)

Wartime propaganda piece giving the warning "Be like Dad, Keep Mum". A gossipy housewife is overheard talking about what her son is doing by a Nazi spy.


Thorold Dickinson


Thorold Dickinson (original screen play), Basil Bartlett (original screen play) | 2 more credits »
1 win. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Mervyn Johns ... No. 23 (Mr. Davis) (as Ft. Lt. Mervyn Johns RAF.VR.)
John Chandos John Chandos ... No. 16
Nova Pilbeam ... Beppie Leemans
Reginald Tate ... Maj. Richards (as Sqn-Ldr. Reginald Tate RAF.VR.)
Stephen Murray ... Mr. Barratt (as L/C Stephen Murray RASC)
Geoffrey Hibbert Geoffrey Hibbert ... Pte. John
Philip Friend ... Lieut. Cummings
Phyllis Stanley ... Miss Clare, the dancer
Mary Clare ... Mrs. 'Ma' Webster
Basil Sydney ... Naval Captain
Joss Ambler ... Mr. Vemon
Brefni O'Rorke ... The Brigadier Blunt
Alexander Field Alexander Field ... Pte. Durnford
David Hutcheson David Hutcheson ... Intelligence Officer (as Ft-Lt. David Hutcheson RAF.VR.)
Jack Hawkins ... Brigade Major Harcourt (as 2nd. Lt. Jack Hawkins RWF)


A woman's idle remark about her son has devastating consequences when she is overheard by a nazi spy. Thorold Dickinson's eerily credible account of Fifth Column activity started life as a propaganda short, only to be expanded (at the MOI's behest) into a feature on the dangers of careless talk.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Gorgeous LIPS...A LOVER'S TRYST THAT SENT 1,000 MEN TO THEIR DOOM! STARTLING! (Print Ad-Albany Times-Union, ((Albany NY)) 13 July 1943)


Drama | Mystery | Thriller | War


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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The War Office asked "Ealing" to make a feature length training film for them on the subject of security, but provided minimal funds. "Ealing" more than doubled the budget from their own resources, to produce a film whose appeal transcended its military function. The very large profits from commercial distribution went first to repay this outlay, then to the War Office rather than "Ealing." See more »


When Beppie meets her soldier boyfriend near his north of England training ground, he is standing by a Western National bus stop. Western National only operated in the South West of England, not the North. See more »


Brigadier Blunt: You all know what a traitor is. A traitor's a man who deliberately gives away his side to the Enemy. but a patriot can easily do as much harm as a traitor. He can do it by letting slip some unimportant tuppeny-ha'penny detail that may have no value in itself whatever...
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Crazy Credits

SECURITY This is the story of how YOU - unwittingly worked for the Enemy, YOU - without knowing gave him the facts, YOU in all innocence helped to write those tragic words - 'THE NEXT OF KIN' See more »


Referenced in Enigma (2001) See more »


Harlem Blues
Music by W.C. Handy
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User Reviews

Thank God our secret of D-Day was intact
21 August 2015 | by howardmorleySee all my reviews

I awarded this film 7/10 as it was well produced with the help of the armed services and although actors played the principal parts it was entirely credible.It showed that despite being a propaganda film, the Germans were very efficient and capable in gathering war time data from the British using artifice, threats, intelligence and perverted bravery. There was of course plenty of posters reminding citizens and the armed forces the danger of a casual word about what one was doing, going, and releasing other information liable to be of use to the enemy.Mervyn Johns is cast again as the 5th columnist spy like he played in "Counterblast" and appears in the end scene with Charters & Caldicot that well known acting duo.Jack Hawkins makes an early appearance wearing a moustache using his unique pre-cancerous voice.Nova Pilbeam plays a Dutch émigré whose parents are held in "protective custody" by the Gestapo in Holland who is forced to provide intelligence of troop movements to her book seller German employer.

If it had not been on YouTube.com I would never have seen this excellent film as it never appears on UK television despite the existence of various heritage channels.In fact "London Live" for example keeps repeating Ealing films they have already transmitted when there are plenty of other vintage films like the present one they could show for us vintage film aficionados.

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Release Date:

15 May 1942 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Next of Kin See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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