Two of British cinema’s enduring talents are behind this devilishly funny black comedy: Sidney Launder and Frank Gilliat produced and wroteThe Green Man, basing it on their own play, Meet A Body. The film reunites them with several of their favourite actors, including Alastair Sim and George Cole, both of whom also appeared in the duo’s St Trinian’s comedy series. They’re joined by another comedy great, Terry-Thomas, in this ’50s take on a subject covered in more recent years by the likes of Grosse Pointe Blank .
Sim stars as Hawkins, a professional assassin with a British knight in his sights. Sir Gregory Upshott (Raymond Huntley) is the man in mortal danger and when his secretary, Marigold (Avril Angers), comes to learn of the plot on her boss’s life, Hawkins dispatches his assistant, McKechnie (John Chandos), to deal with the situation. Things don’t go as planned, however, and soon Marigold has told a passing vacuum cleaner salesman, William Blake (Cole), and Hawkins’ new neighbour (Jill Adams) of the murder plot. In a bid to foil the plan, William goes to the scene of the would-be crime: the Green Man, a hotel on the south coast where Sir Gregory is spending the weekend with one of his typists. As the planned time of the assassination draws ever closer, the laughs and the tension increase.
Taking pot shots at some enduring British interests (the BBC, the state of the National Health Service, dirty weekends), The Green Man remains a sparkling black comedy which recalls the macabre wit of Kind Hearts And Coronets and The Ladykillers.
UK / British Lion – Grenadier / 80 minutes / 1956
Writers:Sidney Gilliat and Frank Launder (based on their own play),
Terry-Thomas as Charles Boughtflower
Alastair Sim as Hawkins
George Cole as William Blake
Colin Gordon as Reginald Willoughby-Cruft
Avril Angers as Marigold
Dora Bryan as Lily
John Chandos as McKechnie
Cyril Chamberlain as Sergeant Bassett
Richard Wattis as Doctor
Vivien Wood as Leader of Trio
Marie Burke as Felicity
Lucy Griffiths as Annabel
Arthur Brough as Landlord
Arthur Lowe as Radio Salesman
Alexander Gauge as Chairman
Peter Bull as General Niva
Willoughby Goddard as Statesman
Michael Ripper as Waiter
Leslie Weston as Porter
Doris Yorke as Mrs. Bostock
Jill Adams as Ann Vincent
Raymond Huntley as Sir Gregory Upshott
Eileen Moore as Joan Wood
and this just in
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