Connect with us


Forbidden Cargo (1954, Jack Warner, Nigel Patrick)



Narcotics cop Inspector Michael Kenyon gets assistance from an unlikely source when he attempts to smash a daring drugs ring in this enjoyable ’50s crime drama, enriched by a formidable British cast.

Led by the sibling team of Rita and Roger Compton (played by Elizabeth Sellars and Terence Morgan), a smuggling syndicate is proving elusive for HM Customs as it floods England with dope. Top inspector Michael Kenyon (Nigel Patrick) is called in to stem the tide, but it’s not until he gets assistance from eagle-eyed bird-spotter Lady Flavia Queensway (Joyce Grenfell) that his luck begins to change.

Writer and producer Sydney Box and director Harold French had worked together on The Blind Goddess and Quartet in the late ’40s. Here they construct a slick and engrossing game of cat and mouse which, despite the earnest subject-matter, is enlivened by a sprightly cast of fondly remembered British actors.

Grenfell – having hot-footed it from the set of The Belles of St Trinians – swaps hockey stick for binoculars and proves the epitome of British pluck as Lady Flavia. Jack Warner, who would embark on the record-breaking TV role of Dixon of Dock Green the following year, is dignity personified as the patriarchal Major Alec White, while Patrick is as solid as ever in the lead. There’s even an appearance from dear old Michael Hordern as a flustered customs officer.

production details
UK / 85 minutes / 1954

Director: Harold French
Writer: Sydney Box

Jack Warner as Maj. Alec White
Nigel Patrick as Insp. Michael Kenyon
Elizabeth Sellars as Rita Compton
Terence Morgan as Roger Compton
Greta Gynt as Mme. Simonetta
Theodore Bikel as Max
Eric Pohlmann as Steven Lasovich