6.4/10
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9 user 3 critic

Double Confession (1950)

When his wife is murdered, the husband tries to divert suspicion from himself to someone else. Unfortunately, his scheme winds up getting him mixed up with some real murderers.

Director:

Ken Annakin

Writers:

John Garden (novel), William Templeton (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Derek Farr ... Jim Medway
Joan Hopkins Joan Hopkins ... Ann Corday
Peter Lorre ... Paynter
William Hartnell ... Charlie Durham
Naunton Wayne ... Inspector Tenby
Ronald Howard ... Hilary Boscombe
Kathleen Harrison ... Kate
Leslie Dwyer Leslie Dwyer ... Leonard
Edward Rigby ... The Fisherman
George Woodbridge ... Sgt. Sawnton
Henry Edwards ... Man in the Shelter
Mona Washbourne ... Fussy Mother
Jennifer Cross Jennifer Cross ... Fussy Mother's Child
Vida Hope Vida Hope ... Madam Zilia
Esma Cannon ... Madam Cleo
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Storyline

When his wife is murdered, the husband tries to divert suspicion from himself to someone else. Unfortunately, his scheme winds up getting him mixed up with some real murderers.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A New British Suspense Story! EXCITING! ROMANTIC! THRILLING! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Ken Annakin made his name with the comedy Holiday Camp (1947) and its three sequels about the Huggett family. Like Holiday Camp (1947), this has a holiday seaside setting, but couldn't be more different with two murders in the opening few minutes. See more »

User Reviews

 
Very good British film noir set at the English seaside
8 May 2017 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

This was director Ken Annakin's first film. It shows clearly that he had superior talent from the very beginning of his career. It was particularly interesting for me to see Ken's first film because I knew him so well and he and I worked on something together, so that I am familiar with his working methods. It is only in contemporary times that the old movies made by one's friends are released on DVD and one can see what they did in the beginnings of their careers. Even they themselves rarely had copies of their own early work, because it would have meant having 35mm prints. This film noir is based on a novel by John Garden entitled ALL ON A SUMMER'S DAY, which was published in 1949. It is set at an English seaside resort with the fictitious name of Seagate, which has a pebble beach, a promenade, a very prominent and extensive fairground, is near high cliffs, and is crowded with people on holiday. The actual filming locations were Hastings and Bexhill-on-Sea, which are near each other in East Sussex. In 1950, the British spent their holidays at such places rather than going abroad. That was not only because cheap air travel did not yet exist, but because there were severe limitations on the amount of currency one could take out of the country. No one was permitted to take more than £50 in cash abroad, and credit cards had not yet been invented. (I need to explain all this because younger people today know nothing of the past and hence are liable to misinterpret such things.) The film contains some notable performances. William Hartnell is particularly good as an unscrupulous businessman who does not shy away from violence when necessary. The character actor Edward Rigby is excellent as an 'old salt', a local fisherman who is just going down the deserted cliffside by moonlight to look after his lobster pots at 4 AM when he runs into trouble. Rigby died the next year, having spent 50 years on stage and having appeared in his first film in 1910. The female lead is a particularly charming and delightful actress named Joan Hopkins, who made five feature films between 1947 and 1950 (of which this was the last), appeared in some television dramas, and then in 1954 retired from acting. She married the film director Henry Cass, and she lived to be 87. Her retirement from acting was a great loss to the screen, because she had many of the same qualities as Deborah Kerr and could have had a marvellous lifelong career. Peter Lorre plays a criminally-minded associate of Hartnell, with his usual expert portrayal of an eccentric and neurotic man of disturbed mind and morals. Towards the end of the film, he has to be very dramatic indeed and gives what is usually called 'a towering performance'. In fact those are the most powerful scenes I have ever seen him in, and it is as if he were possessed. Anyone interested in Peter Lorre really needs to see this film. Annakin adds numerous imaginative touches to the film, including scenes with an eccentric and amusing little girl, which have nothing to do with the story but raise the film well above the level of the mediocre. The story is mysterious. Derek Farr, the male lead, arrives at Seagate late at night by the mail train (arriving at 3:30 AM) and walks a long way by moonlight to a lonely cottage at the base of the local cliffs. Strange goings-on occur there, and we hear a shrill scream. Who has done what to whom? Hartnell is there at the cottage, seen by Farr, and shortly afterwards someone else falls from the cliff to the beach, but who is he? It isn't Farr and it isn't Hartnell. Naunton Wayne plays the local police inspector who has to solve the murders of two people on one night, one of whom is under a false name and the other of whom is never seen in the film. The scenes where Farr and Joan Hopkins sit chatting on the beach provide well-placed moments of calm and normality in the midst of a story which swirls with intrigue and tension. The contrast serves to remind us of just how abnormal the wider situation really is. The title refers to more than one person confessing to the same murder. This film has been made with such style and imagination that it is a genuinely superior film noir.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 November 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Främlingen i natten See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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