Wednesday, 17 April 2013
Green for Danger (1946) - ★★★★
Writers: Christianna Brand (Novel), Sidney Gilliat (Screenplay)
Stars: Alastair Sim, Leo Genn, Trevor Howard, Judy Campbell, Sally Grey, Meg Jenkins, Wendy Thompson
Green for Danger is an exciting mystery. It's one of those films that keep you guessing. Just when you think you know who the murderer is, a new development causes you to doubt it. The cast performances are phenomenal, as is the music and cinematography. It's a great display of classic British cinema.
The story is set during WWII in a small hospital. When a postman dies on the operating table, the doctors and nurses are implicated in what appears to be a murder. All of them have ties to the man in some way, which is why Inspector Cockrill (Alastair Sim) must investigate who the murderer is.
It's a dark film with hints of comic relief by Alastair Sim. It's like an Inspector Poirot or Ms. Marple mystery, except it has a different inspector. One who is just as charismatic, much less methodical, and appears slightly crazy. Sim gave a knockout performance that made the film much more enjoyable.
One performance absolutely blew me away. It was that of Wendy Thompson, an unknown actress who played Sister Carter. She displayed heartbreak, hatred and insanity and made it look easy. I also felt that Meg Jenkins gave a terrific performance as the large and outspoken Nurse Woods. Together, these two women and Alastair Sim made the film standout among other great mystery films.
In the end, the murderer wasn't a surprise. That's because everyone was a suspect and everyone was given a spotlight that may have implicated them in the crime. Although it was not a surprise, it was a brilliant ending. The mystery was really fun to unravel and the acting was spectacular. It's one of the best movies of 1946.