GREEN FOR DANGER

 
Directed by Sidney Gilliat. UK. 1946.


Talking Pictures alias talkingpix.co.uk
 
 


 
 

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Directed and produced by Sidney Gilliat and Frank Launder, the British mystery-comedy Green for Danger is a rare treat. Featuring the incomparable Alastair Sim as Cockrill, a bumbling Scotland Yard detective and the redoubtable Trevor Howard as a suspicious doctor, the plot is a convoluted murder mystery in which five people have motive and means to commit murder - but whodunit? 

Set in a rural British hospital (that looks like an Elizabethan mansion) during the latter stages of World War II, two people are murdered before you can say "buzz bomb". The first suspicious death occurs when a postman suddenly dies on the operating table after receiving an anaesthetic. This is soon followed by the death of Nurse Marion Bates (Judy Campbell) after she announces at a party that she has found evidence to expose the killer. The possible killer includes the uptight Dr. Barnes (Trevor Howard), the emotionally unstable Nurse Sanson (Rosamund John), Nurse Woods (Megs Jenkins), Nurse Linley (Sally Gray), the object of affection from both doctors, and the philandering surgeon, Mr. Eden (Leo Genn). Each one of the suspects looks and acts guilty. 

There are many twists and turns and, without giving anything away, a staged mock operation after an attempted third murder ultimately will tell the tale. But the film belongs to Alastair Sim. The word whimsical must have been invented with him in mind. You just cannot take things too seriously when he is around. His capricious charm and impudent smile lights up every dark shadow in the old hospital. Green for Danger is a bit stodgy but lots of fun.
 
 

Howard Schumann
 
 
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