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An Inspector Calls (1954)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 13 August 1954 (Canada)
When a young girl is found dead an inspector is sent to investigate a prosperous Yorkshire household. It emerges that each member of the family has a guilty secret - each one is partly responsible for her death.


Guy Hamilton


J.B. Priestley (adapted from the play by), Desmond Davis (screenplay)




Complete credited cast:
Alastair Sim ... Inspector Poole
Olga Lindo ... Mrs. Birling
Arthur Young Arthur Young ... Mr. Birling
Brian Worth Brian Worth ... Gerald Croft
Eileen Moore ... Sheila
Bryan Forbes ... Eric Birling
Jane Wenham Jane Wenham ... Eva Smith
George Woodbridge ... Fish & Chip Shop Owner
Barbara Everest ... Committee Member
Charles Saynor Charles Saynor ... Police Officer
Olwen Brookes Olwen Brookes ... Miss Francis
John Welsh ... Shop Walker
Frances Gowens Frances Gowens ... Small Girl


Set in 1912, an upper crust English family's dinner is interrupted when a police inspector brings news of a girl known to everyone present having died in suspicious circumstances. It seems each member of the family could have had a hand in her death. But who is the mysterious Inspector and what can he want of them? This was originally a West End play. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A tale of investigation into the lives of five people who have forged a tragic chain of circumstances. See more »


Crime | Drama | Mystery


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


During the first scene at the dinner table, Arthur Birling says "Steady, the Buffs". This phrase means "stay calm, be careful, and persevere", and is associated with the 3rd Regiment of Foot (The East Kent Regiment), whose nickname was 'The Buffs'. The phrase is thought to have originated when the Regiment was stationed in Malta in 1858, and was popularised in Rudyard Kipling's novel, "Soldiers Three". 'Buffs' refers the dull yellow colour of the facings worn by the regiment, starting in the 18th Century. See more »


At around 59mins, a poster for a circus appears in the background advertising the Great Blondin. The film is set in 1912, but Blondin died in Ealing in 1897. See more »


Sheila Birling: [about the girl who committed suicide by drinking disinfectant] Was she pretty?
Inspector Goole: She wasn't very pretty when I saw her last in the infirmary.
See more »


Referenced in Grantchester: Episode #5.3 (2020) See more »

User Reviews

A strange visitor interrupts dinner
4 October 2005 | by chris_gaskin123See all my reviews

I've just seen An Inspector Calls for the first time and found it very enjoyable. The ending was a bit of a surprise.

The Birlings, a rich English family are having dinner one evening when a copper calls round to see them and tell them about a girl who has just been found dead. At first, they deny they knew her but each member of the family did know her and had a different connection with her. These include being a former lover and a former employee. Later on, we learn the truth and there is something strange about the Inspector...

The Inspector is played brilliantly by the great Alastair Sim (Scrooge) and the rest of the cast includes Arthur Young and Brian Forbes.

This is a must see, especially for old movie fans. Brilliant.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

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Release Date:

13 August 1954 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

An Inspector Calls See more »


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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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