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?
Based on the play of the same name, by J.B. Priestley. 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
But just remember this: There are millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still left with us with their lives, and hopes, and fears. Their suffering, and chance of happiness all intertwined with what we think, and say, and do. We don't live alone upon this earth. We are responsible for each other. And if mankind will not learn that lesson, then the time will come, soon, when he will be taught it in fire, and blood, and anguish.