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The Halfway House (1944)

A group of travellers, all with something to hide in their past, take shelter from a storm in an old inn. The inn-keeper seems a little mysterious...


Basil Dearden, Alberto Cavalcanti (uncredited)


Denis Ogden (suggested by the play "The Peaceful Inn" by), Angus MacPhail (screenplay) (as Angus Macphail) | 3 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mervyn Johns ... Rhys
Glynis Johns ... Gwyneth, his daughter
Tom Walls ... Capt. Meadows
Françoise Rosay ... Alice Meadows (as Francoise Rosay)
Esmond Knight ... David Davies
Guy Middleton ... Fortescue
Alfred Drayton ... Oakley
Valerie White Valerie White ... Jill French
Richard Bird ... Sqn. Ldr. French
Sally Ann Howes ... Joanna, Their Daughter
Philippa Hiatt Philippa Hiatt ... Margaret
Pat McGrath Pat McGrath ... Terence
C.V. France ... The Solicitor
Roland Pertwee ... Prison Governor
Eliot Makeham ... The Dresser


A group of travellers, each with a personal problem that they want to hide, arrives at a mysterious Welsh country inn. There is a certain strangeness in the air as they are greeted by the innkeeper and his daughter (Mervyn Johns and his real life daughter Glynis Johns). Why are all the newspapers a year old ? And why doesn't Gwyneth seem to cast a shadow ? Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Psychological Thriller See more »


Drama | Fantasy | Mystery


See all certifications »






Release Date:

5 June 1944 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Half-Way House See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ealing Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film's earliest documented telecast occurred Monday 10 September 1945 on New York City's pioneer television station WNBT (Channel 1). See more »


A bomb was dropped on the Welsh village of Cwmbach in 1941 as a result of the bombing of Swansea, south Wales. In the film we are given to understand that Cwmbach is in north Wales as it is referred to being near to Llandudno. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: CARDIFF See more »


Die Zauberflöte
("The Magic Flute")(uncredited)
composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

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User Reviews

Importance of spiritualism in war time
20 May 2016 | by damiller85See all my reviews

I guess most reviewers are too young to remember the mind set of people at home during war. This film IMO reflects a very present concern of many people in coming to terms with grief. Spiritualism had always been important from the mid 19th century with a falling off towards the end of the century. But with a major resurgence in 1914 and WW1. The young men of whole communities in England died because of recruiting ploys like the "Pals Brigades". With this in mind, the central theme of this 1944 film (fifth year of WW2 for England) will have struck chords with many in the audience. Only 20 years separated the two WWs - not long enough to forget.

Spiritualism was never in "conflict" with science. Many 19th C. scientists studied spiritualism with the same avidity as electricity or radio waves. A couple of years ago, I went along with a friend to a spiritualist meeting in an English provincial town. I was surprised by some of what I saw and heard but most striking was the attempt by the spiritualist to give comfort to the people there. A comfort that was gratefully received.

I am not advocating spiritualism just as I would not advocate the use of placebos to the exclusion of doctors. But I have lived long enough in many countries and cultures to have experienced some pretty strange things. Keeping open a little window of uncertainty and doubt in a PC world where many know all the answers.

This tongue-in-cheek film is interesting from a number of aspects. The spiv (still reviled in my youth in England), the war-split couple, the lost child, the spiritualist seeking solace... They may seem quaint today but will have struck chords with many in the audience which is what cinema is all about.

Even the RAF father of one of the reviewers may have been unhappy with the film because it did not delve deeply enough into what was an everyday reality for him and his colleagues. Death for him was just around the corner, very real, and no theatrical imitation could possibly approach that reality.

This film taught me a few things and reinforced other things about what it was like for my parents generation.

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