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In the midst of the Nazi blitz, a postman dies on the operating table at a rural English hospital. But was the death accidental? A delightful and wholly unexpected murder mystery, British writer/director Sidney Gilliat's Green for Danger features Trevor Howard and Sally Gray as suspected doctors and Alastair Sim in a marvelous turn as Scotland Yard's insouciant Inspector Cockrill. A screenwriter who had worked with Hitchcock on such classics as The Lady Vanishes and Jamaica Inn, Gilliat slyly upends whodunit conventions with wit and style. Part of The Criterion Collection of Fine Films.
Writer-director Sidney Gilliat isn't the household name he deserves to be, so his film Green for Danger--once an art-house perennial--qualifies as one of the major, and surely most delightful, (re)discoveries of the season. Its cunning blend of character-driven mystery, gothic dread, and inveterately English gallows humor makes for sheer movie-movie pleasure.
There's a perfect fusion of storytelling and moodmaking, plot and setting. The time is 1944, when Hitler was attacking the British populace with V-1 flying bombs. Under this ongoing siege, at an Elizabethan country manor made over as wartime hospital, someone among a half-dozen doctors and nurses is up to something sinister. Which one is anybody's guess, given the adroitly suggested crosscurrents of loathing and desire, suspicion and jealousy animating the company. After a mysterious death on the operating table, followed by a second death that's unmistakably murder, Scotland Yard enters the picture in the perversely antic form of that long drink of wormwood, the definitive Scrooge, Alastair Sim. (Actually, Sim's sepulchral voice deliciously narrates the film from the beginning.)
Gilliat, with his partner Frank Launder, had written Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes (Hitch signed on after their exemplary screenplay was done) and its de facto sequel, Carol Reed's Night Train to Munich. The same talent for drollery without sacrificing tension is abundantly apparent in Green for Danger. As added inducements, the cast includes Trevor Howard and Leo Genn; the artfully shadowy cinematography is the work of Wilkie Cooper. --Richard T. Jameson
Alistair Sim was delightful. It was a treat just watching him. The story was clever.Published 1 month ago by Susan Hankin
This movie is a ton of fun. The actor who plays the detective is a riot. The pacing is a little slow for modern tastes, but not as slow as some movies from the era.Published 2 months ago by mvp1984
A marvelous thriller from 1946 that gives you an opportunity to watch Alastair Sim (Scrooge) and not have to wait for Christmas. Read morePublished 5 months ago by James Clifton
An outstandingly entertaining movie with an excellent cast and a storyline which combines suspense with humour. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Navo
I really loved this film. It has it all. Romance, suspense and is a great "who done it" - If you are a fan of older films this is one that should have received a whole... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Maria P. Mason
I saw this movie in the when I was a kid . All I could remember was Leo Genn's marvelous voice. I was concerned about the age of the movie: no worries! Read morePublished 9 months ago by Readerreader
The film opens with a creepy voice-over, the voice informing us that of six main characters in a rural hospital, three doctors and three nurses, one of the six is a murderer and... Read morePublished 11 months ago by P. B. Sharp