17 user 1 critic

Mr. Denning Drives North (1951)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 2 September 1953 (USA)
A British aircraft engineer accidentally kills his daughter's nasty foreign boyfriend and then tries to cover up his deed.


Anthony Kimmins


Alec Coppel (screenplay), Alec Coppel (adapted from novel)




Cast overview, first billed only:
John Mills ... Tom Denning
Phyllis Calvert ... Kay Denning
Eileen Moore ... Liz Denning
Sam Wanamaker ... Chick Eddowes
Herbert Lom ... Mados
Raymond Huntley ... Wright
Russell Waters Russell Waters ... Harry Stopes
Wilfrid Hyde-White ... Woods
Freda Jackson ... Ma Smith
Trader Faulkner ... Ted Smith
Sheila Shand Gibbs Sheila Shand Gibbs ... Matilda
Bernard Lee ... Inspector Dodds
Michael Shepley ... Chairman of Court
Ronald Adam ... Coroner
John Stuart ... Wilson


When well-off aircraft designer Denning finds his daughter's current boyfriend is a nasty character he tries to buy him off, ending up hitting him and causing his death when he falls. Instead of calling the police he dumps the body in a lonely spot on the road to the North, making it look like a hit-and-run accident. Weeks later there is still no report of the body being found, and Denning starts to go to pieces. When he lets his wife into his secret the two start making enquiries, possibly making things worse. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's sensational ... you'll get thrill upon thrill ! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The factory used in the production line sequence is the Percival Aircraft Company based a Luton Airport, Bedfordshire. The aircraft in the assemble line are Prince transports. See more »


When Denning climbs out of Mados's window and gets into his car, the headlights have white translucent covers over them. As he drives round the corner and turns the lights on, they still have the covers on. But as he parks outside Mados's house, the covers are no longer there. See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are spoken, with no captions, giving just the film's title, the two main stars and brief supporting cast. The full credits are shown at the end. See more »


Features The Four Feathers (1939) See more »


I do like to be beside the seaside
Written by John Glover Kind
Played on a record player by the mortuary attendant and heard as a theme over the end credits
See more »

User Reviews

The Denning Desperation.
3 January 2017 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

Mr. Denning Drives North is directed by Anthony Kimmins and adapted to screenplay from his own novel by Alec Coppel. It stars John Mills, Phyliss Calvert, Eileen Moore, Sam Wannamaker and Herbert Lom. Music is by Benjamin Frankel and cinematography by John Wilcox.

A splendid collage of murder mystery, noir and thriller - with a slice of Hitchcockian black humour thrown in for good measure, Kimmins' film deserves to be better known. Plot finds Mills as the Mr. Denning of the title, who after accidentally killing what he believes to be his daughter's unscrupulous boyfriend, dumps the body and then finds himself in a whirl of stricken conscience and panic.

To say more would be to spoil the fun for there are plenty of interesting roads on which the story travels, but it's safe to say the investigation of the missing body is gripping and has a delicious slice of ironic fate about it. Cast are excellent, particularly Mills, with the leads boosted by a roll call of British greats in supporting roles. Frankel provides a very lively musical score and Wilcox's photography has the requisite tonal accompaniments for the unfolding plot. Hats off also to Kimmins, who keeps a tight hold on things to let the drama flow naturally without histrionics.

From a nifty expressionistic opening to a very cheeky and fulfilling finale, this very much is one for murder mystery, noir, thriller fans to seek out. 7.5/10

16 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

2 September 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Asylliptos dolofonos See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed