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The October Man (1947)

Not Rated | | Crime, Mystery | 20 May 1948 (USA)
Jim Ackland, who suffers from a head injury sustained in a bus crash, is the chief suspect in a murder hunt, when a girl that he has just met is found dead on the local common, and he has ... See full summary »


Roy Ward Baker (as Roy Baker)


Eric Ambler (novel), Eric Ambler (screenplay)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Mills ... Jim Ackland
Joan Greenwood ... Jenny Carden
Edward Chapman ... Mr. Peachy
Kay Walsh ... Molly Newman
Joyce Carey ... Mrs. Vinton
Catherine Lacey ... Miss Selby
Adrianne Allen ... Joyce Carden
Felix Aylmer ... Dr. Martin
Frederick Piper Frederick Piper ... Det. Insp. Godby
John Boxer John Boxer ... Det. Sgt. Troth
Patrick Holt ... Harry Carden
George Benson George Benson ... Mr. Pope
Jack Melford Jack Melford ... Wilcox
Esme Beringer Esme Beringer ... Miss Heap
Ann Wilton Ann Wilton ... Miss Parsons


Jim Ackland, who suffers from a head injury sustained in a bus crash, is the chief suspect in a murder hunt, when a girl that he has just met is found dead on the local common, and he has no alibi for the time she was killed. Written by Mike Wilson <Mike.Wilson6@btinternet.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Great Star of "Great Expectations" at His Greatest! See more »


Crime | Mystery


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

20 May 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Zwielicht See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Two Cities Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


First of six movies in which Roy Ward Baker directed Sir John Mills. See more »


Jim Ackland: I didn't give up! I didn't give up!
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User Reviews

Smart, pretty, and dependable--a crime movie without the extraordinary
6 April 2011 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

The October Man (1947)

A tightly constructed, well acted, moody, night drenched murder mystery. Very British, very good. Is it amazing? No, but it beats old t.v. hands down. I mean, it's a layered, nuanced, gradually evolving story with some real feeling to it. But it's also a packaged affair, neatly imagined and in the ends not a bit surprising. The romance, at least, is satisfying--the couple seems a good match.

Eric Ambler, who wrote and produced, was a high visibility popular author at the time, and you have to assume the movie feels as close to the writer's intentions as possible. Director Roy Ward Baker is only on his second film here, and it shows a natural talent for economy and drama. (He would later direct the Richard Widmark, Marilyn Monroe suspense noir, "Don't Bother to Knock" during a stay in Hollywood.) His most famous film might now be "A Night to Remember" because it was the most complete telling of the Titanic story leading up to Cameron's.

In a seemingly British way, the story here is neatly contained. Agatha Christy comes to mind when the main character enters the hotel where most of the action occurs, and we get to know the small number of residents there, each a distinct type. And when the murder (of course) happens, we are led to suspect this person or that. Or at least we are supposed to. The movie makes the perp all too obvious, even before the crime, so you have to depend on how well the story is told instead of being curious who done it.

And it's well told indeed. The supporting cast, including the love interest, is competent. The leading man, the falsely accused victim of an earlier bus crash, is rather excellent, played by veteran serious actor John Mills. And all the foggy night scenes, and train and train station sections, ought to make those of you nostalgic for old Britain very happy.

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