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The Circle (1957)

The Vicious Circle (original title)
When Dr Howard Latimer finds the German Actress that he has just met at London Airport murdered in his flat, it leads him into the world of murder, blackmail and a fake passport scam.


Gerald Thomas


Francis Durbridge (screenplay)

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Cast overview:
John Mills ... Dr. Howard Latimer
Derek Farr ... Kenneth Palmer
Noelle Middleton ... Laura James
Wilfrid Hyde-White ... Maj. Harrington aka Robert Brady (as Wilfrid Hyde White)
Roland Culver ... Detective Inspector Dane
Mervyn Johns ... Dr. George Kimber
Rene Ray Rene Ray ... Mrs. Ambler
Lionel Jeffries ... Geoffrey Windsor
Lisa Daniely ... Frieda Veldon
David Williams David Williams ... The Detective Sergeant
Diana Lambert Diana Lambert ... Latimer's Office Nurse
Hal Osmond Hal Osmond ... Joe - Golf Caddy
Gillian Moran Gillian Moran


When Dr Howard Latimer finds the German Actress that he has just met at London Airport murdered in his flat, it leads him into the world of murder, blackmail and a fake passport scam.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

british noir | See All (1) »


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Release Date:

15 April 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Circle See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75: 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Dr Latimers house is in Ennismore Gardens Mews Knightsbridge. See more »


Latimer lives in Ennismore Garden Mews, which does not have an Inigo Jones church across the road from his front door as shown several times (some of those images are clearly painted backdrops). See more »


Soldiers of the Queen
Music by Leslie Stuart
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User Reviews

Christie or Ambler, with Hitchcock, Were Needed Here
4 August 2017 | by joe-pearce-1See all my reviews

I found this a good, solid little mystery that could probably have been somewhat better had more imaginative forces been brought to bear on the story and filming. The one thing that is pretty much perfect about it is the acting, with just about everybody in it performing at peak efficiency when considering what they've got to work with. A couple of reviewers found John Mills a bit too straight or severe in his character's acceptance of the very strange things that are happening in his world, one remarking that Cary Grant did this kind of thing better for Hitchcock because Grant is an Everyman and Mills is not. I would have reversed that in a nanosecond. Until the Tom Courtenays of the world came along, Mills was about as much of an Everyman as the British Cinema could produce, and anybody who thinks of Cary Grant as an Everyman has a very elevated opinion of Man! Anyway, the Ambleresque premise and happenings in this film might have been better managed by Agatha Christie, who would at least have provided a better denouement than we get here. The one given here is pretty acceptable, but in no way special. Still, it makes sense, and that is as much as we can expect from most mystery stories. The film does hold the attention, because although we know that Mills is the victim of some nefarious plot (mainly because we are always with him and learn of each succeeding mysterious element at the same time as he does), the puzzle that is set up is really quite bizarre and we can't imagine how it will be explained away. It is, and acceptably so, but Christie would have had our jaws dropping as explanations poured forth. The film is held up and made excellent by the quality of the acting. There are no weak links in that regard, and Mills is supported admirably by Derek Farr, Roland Culver, Mervyn Johns, Lionel Jeffries and Wilfred Hyde-White (especially by the latter), and on the distaff side, just as excellently by Noelle Middleton as his fiancée and the always-admirable Rene Ray as a mysterious and somewhat duplicitous woman involved in causing Mills's problems. I might add that I was previously unfamiliar with Ms. Middleton, and she seemed to me totally first-rate, beautiful and downright classy throughout. I really must see more of her. (Ah, how I miss the 1950s!) Anyway, a solid Mills effort, and if not as excellent as some of his other films, that may just be an over-critical evaluation based on the extraordinary excellence of the film work he gave us over some 70 years of practicing his craft!

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