Alastair Sim is at the peak of his unique wry powers as Christianna Brand’s eccentric but immensely shrewd police Inspector Cockrill, investigating a series of murders committed in a World War Two emergency hospital filled with a highly satisfying range of suspects.
Apart from Sim’s superb and splendidly enjoyable central performance, the film is excellently cast with first-rate portrayals coming from Trevor Howard, Sally Gray, Leo Genn, Rosamund John, Megs Jenkins, Judy Campbell and Ronald Adam. Gilliat’s direction is sharp, funny and, at the same time, very atmospheric and effective in bringing out the elements of suspense and mystery in his excellent screenplay (co-written with Claude Guerney). Wilkie Cooper’s fine monochrome cinematography, Thelma Myers’ editing and the art direction of Peter Proud and W E Hutchinson (with hospital equipment from The Ministry of Supply!) add to the overall impact.
UK / Individual – Eagle Lion / 91 minutes / 1946
Writers:Sidney Gilliat, Claude Guerney. Based on Christianna Brand’s novel.
Alastair Sim as Inspector Cockrill
Leo Genn as Mr. Eden
Ronald Adam as Dr. White
John Rae as Porter
Rosamund John as Nurse Esther Sanson
George Woodbridge as Detective Sgt. Hendricks
Trevor Howard as Dr. Barnes
Sally Gray as Nurse Freddi Linley
Henry Edwards as Mr. Purdy
Moore Marriott as Joseph Higgins
Megs Jenkins as Nurse Woods
Judy Campbell as Sister Marion Bates
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