In 1912 pompous industrialist Arthur Birling, who has hopes of a knighthood, his superior wife Sybil and young son Eric are celebrating the engagement of daughter Sheila to eligible Gerald Croft when they are visited by blunt Inspector Goole. He tells them of the suicide of a young woman named Eva Smith and though they all claim not to have known her the inspector demonstrates that each in their own way contributed to her downfall, by having her dismissed from work or, in the young men's cases, having sexual relationships and then abandoning her. After Goole has left the youngsters feel ashamed and the engagement is halted but Arthur Birling, doubting the inspector's authority, rings the local police station. This is the prelude to a double shock which will lead to the family's humiliation and ruin.
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Did You Know?
The actors for Eva Smith and Eric Birling both play characters in the TV show Peaky Blinders See more
Gerald leaves the room after Sheila has given him back her engagement ring, but the next time she appears, she still has the engagement ring on her finger. See more
Do you believe in God?
How can you?
I can't believe in people. I have to believe in something, or I'd fall - fall down through the cracks. Never stop falling.
Version of Inspektor Gull