Green for Danger (1946)

“… follow this man in the FOOTSTEPS of MURDER!” Interesting post-World War II escapist fare, this British whodunit starts out as a melodramatic thriller but abruptly shifts to a more whimsical tone with the arrival of “Inspector Cockrill” (wonderfully portrayed by Alastair Sim). The action takes place during wartime in a rural hospital outside of London where a postman named “Joseph Higgins” (Moore Marriott) mysteriously dies on the operating table. When a nurse is murdered the following day, Cockrill arrives on the scene and the entire surgical staff is suspect (everyone seems to have both a motive and an alibi). As Cockrill, Sim gets to deliver some memorable lines such as “The next morning my presence lay over the hospital like a pall. As I approached, voices were hushed and eyes turned on me … I found it all tremendously enjoyable.” The solid ensemble cast includes Trevor Howard, Sally Gray, Leo Genn, Judy Campbell, Megs Jenkins and Rosamund John. Green for Danger was directed by Sidney Gilliat and produced by Individual Pictures, the company he formed with his frequent collaborator Frank Launder (they had earlier produced Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes in 1938). Green for Danger was based on a 1944 novel of the same name by Christianna Brand (1907-88), who wrote a total of seven novels in the Inspector Cockrill series starting with Heads You Lose (1941).

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