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Black Memory (1947)

Danny Cruff returns home years after his father was wrongly accused and hanged for murder. But he can't escape his past.


Oswald Mitchell


John Gilling (original story), John Gilling (screenplay)


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Cast overview:
Michael Medwin ... Johnnie Fletcher
Frank Hawkins Frank Hawkins ... Alf Davidson
Winifred Melville Winifred Melville ... Mrs Davidson
Moyra O'Connell Moyra O'Connell ... Joan Davidson
Jane Arden ... Sally Davidson
Michael Atkinson Michael Atkinson ... Danny Cruff
Betty Miller Betty Miller ... Mrs Cruff
Michael Conry Michael Conry ... Carl Broach
Sidney James ... Eddie Clinton (as Sydney James)
Arthur Brander Arthur Brander ... Rutford
Gerald Pring Gerald Pring ... Headmaster
Valerie Hulton Valerie Hulton ... Miss Philpotts
Maurice Nicholas Maurice Nicholas ... Johnnie - as a boy
Malcolm Sommers Malcolm Sommers ... Danny - as a boy


Danny Cruff returns home years after his father was wrongly accused and hanged for murder. But he can't escape his past.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

6 June 1947 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Olga Lowe auditioned for this film. See more »


Featured in The Many Faces of...: Sid James (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Underrated British crime movie; dark but never dreary
18 October 2016 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

BLACK MEMORY is a cheap British crime film written by John Gilling, later to dominate the B-movie genre of film-making in the 1950s. This one's a little cheaper, a little darker, and a little more dated than most British crime films of the era, but it's certainly not a bad film and it doesn't deserve the low rating it has accrued on this site.

The plot is a straightforward one about a boy whose father is arrested and later hanged for murder. He grows up into something of a tearaway and arrives back in his old town looking for a job. Once there, he discovers that the circumstances surrounding the historical murder are rather murky, and local gangster Michael Medwin is somehow involved.

What follows is a film with a bit of everything; a heist plays a big part in the proceedings and there are the usual tropes of the genre elsewhere. However, it's quite serviceable, and it does have a very short running time which means that it's never dull. I did find that the main characters were a little young to be convincing. Michael Atkinson as the lead is saddled with a deathly dull character although Michael Medwin is much better in an early turn as the villain. Sid James plays in his first film and is a sorrowful supporting character. Jane Arden steals the show as a would-be femme fatale.

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