4 user

Query (1945)

Murder in Reverse (original title)
Approved | | Thriller | 22 October 1945 (UK)
Tom Masterick, a dock worker, is wrongfully convicted of a murder charge. His death sentence is commuted to a long prison term. When released as an old man, he vows to find the real killer.


Montgomery Tully


Austin Small (novel) (as Seamark), Montgomery Tully




Cast overview, first billed only:
William Hartnell ... Tom Masterick
Jimmy Hanley ... Peter Rogers
Chili Bouchier ... Doris Masterick
Brefni O'Rorke ... Sullivan
John Slater ... Fred Smith
Dinah Sheridan ... Jill Masterick
Petula Clark ... Jill as a Child
Kynaston Reeves Kynaston Reeves ... Crossley King's Counsel
John Salew John Salew ... Blake King's Counsel
Edward Rigby ... Spike
Ben Williams Ben Williams ... Docker
Ethel Coleridge Ethel Coleridge ... Mrs. Green
Maire O'Neill ... Mrs. Moore
Wylie Watson ... Tailor
Scott Sanders Scott Sanders ... Landlord of the North Star


Tom Masterick, a dock worker, is wrongfully convicted of a murder charge. His death sentence is commuted to a long prison term. When released as an old man, he vows to find the real killer.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


One of the rare times William Hartnell was cast as the leading man. See more »


Referenced in The Doctor and the Girl (1949) See more »

User Reviews

Ingenious wronged-man thriller
24 June 2010 | by Igenlode WordsmithSee all my reviews

This film has a great deal going for it, including an excellent performance from silent-era siren Chili Bouchier in the fairly thankless role of the wife, an effective child performance from Petula Clark, and a rather charming lolloping-puppy act from Jimmy Hanley in what could otherwise have been an irritating role as a none-too-successful cub reporter. There is a nail-biting (although credibility-stretching) chase which doesn't end up as we have been conditioned to expect, and an ingenious plot twist based on the original source, a short story called "Query". The flashback section also provides the spectacle of post-war production waxing nostalgic over 1930s Limehouse, with its references to the novel 'talkies', its thriving docks and its Chinese laundry.

I mainly went to see this film on account of the advertised starring role of William Hartnell, whom I have always found to give good value on screen.. Here he takes the lead in an impressive character performance which involves his playing the whole of the first half in an East End accent and the second half as a prematurely aged man combining both wizened malevolence and the vague kindness of a silver-haired uncle. Masterick is a tough act to pull off, a man obsessed and bitter, and yet still human, and Hartnell largely manages it, although I felt that his interpretation of the two scenes where the voice-over requires him to behave abnormally -- when he reads his wife's note, and when the verdict is given in the courtroom -- was unconvincing. Presumably this what was the director asked for.

Masterick's final scene with his wife (whose history is skilfully implied without ever being stated outright) is moving and effective, and the relationship between the two young lovers -- with the girl obviously being the leading light of the pair! -- is both sweet and amusing. I did feel that there were some plot holes (do neither Masterick or young Rogers ever learn who Jill really is?), chief of which is the fact that it never occurs to Masterick that his target might have changed his name... or, even more oddly, to the offender! However, overall it is an effective and atmospheric piece of entertainment that rarely rings false. One to recommend: but perhaps it might have been even better.

It is perhaps worth adding, for clarification, that there is no 'crimelord', no 'London gang' and no 'prison grapevine' in the film: the IMDb plot outline is accurate so far as it goes.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 4 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

22 October 1945 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Query See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

British National Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed