Green for Danger

Green for Danger

3.5 2
Director: Sidney Gilliat

Cast: Alastair Sim, Leo Genn, Trevor Howard

     
 

This clever and well-crafted British thriller, set during the height of World War II and featuring a marvelous turn by Alistair Sim as a eccentric police detective, has been given an overdue DVD release in the United States by the Criterion Collection. Green For Danger has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1; the film wasSee more details below

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Overview

This clever and well-crafted British thriller, set during the height of World War II and featuring a marvelous turn by Alistair Sim as a eccentric police detective, has been given an overdue DVD release in the United States by the Criterion Collection. Green For Danger has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1; the film was shot by Wilkie Cooper (Oswald Morris was a camera assistant) and looks superb in this edition, with the deep shadows and broad range of grey tones demonstrating how pleasing a well-shot black and white film can be. The film's audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono and sounds excellent, better than one might expect for a film of the period. The dialogue is in English, with no multiple language options included, though the feature does include optional English subtitles for the hard of hearing. Film historian Bruce Eder contributes an optional commentary track, in which he discusses the style and approach of the movie, and the disc also includes a chat with writer Geoff Brown in which he talks about the making of Green For Danger and the collaborative career of director/screenwriter Sidney Gilliat and producer Frank Launder. And the handsome accompanying booklet includes essays from Geoffrey O'Brien and director Gilliat. Few American firms would bother releasing a lesser-known British detective film in the United States, let alone with this degree of care, but the material certainly merits the attention and Criterion are to be congratulated for going the extra mile with this top-shelf package.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Sidney Gilliat's Green for Danger was the most inventive murder mystery to come out of England in the eight years since Alfred Hitchcock left the country -- and in a sense, it's no surprise that this would be the case as it was co-written, produced, and directed by the team of Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat, the two authors of the screenplay for Hitchcock's last great English thriller, The Lady Vanishes. Based on Christianna Brand's novel, the 1946 movie is a fascinating variation on that venerable English creation, the drawing room thriller -- in this case, the drawing room is replaced by a hospital operating theater, and instead of family members, the suspects are comprised of the surgical team, doctors and surgeons (two separate professional classes in England), and the nurses with whom they may (or may not) be involved. The movie featured one of the niftiest murders seen in a movie in years: the victim is killed on an operating table, in front of two doctors and a team of nurses who are unable to discern what has happened or why. World War II and Germany's V-1 bombings of England also figure into the plot and add to the atmosphere of uncertainty and suspense surrounding the events taking place in the hospital. Green for Danger also has an extremely important place in the history of British film production, as it was the first feature film after the war to be shot at the reopened Pinewood Studios, which was an important symbol of the industry's return to peacetime -- indeed, a close look at the credits shows this as the first film for members of a new generation (or, perhaps, a newly promoted generation would be a better way of putting it) of production designers (Peter Proud), cinematographers (Wilkie Cooper), etc., their careers newly restarted and on track to do major films into the 1960s and beyond. The movie also introduced Alastair Sim to international audiences as a serious leading actor, and set the stage for the stardom that he would later achieve in Scrooge, and again in the hands of Launder and Gilliat in The Belles of St. Trinian's. Additionally, the movie's casting, plotting, and execution served as a prime example of how British studios were going to compete with their higher-budgeted American rivals in the years after the war: by making movies that were cleverer and more offbeat than anything coming out of America.

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/13/2007
UPC:
0715515022323
Original Release:
1947
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W]
Time:
1:31:00
Sales rank:
2,918

Special Features

New, restored high-definition digital transfer; Audio commentary by film and music historian Bruce Eder; New interview with British film historian Geoff Brown; Plus: A new essay by critic Geoffrey O'Brien and a director's statement

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alastair Sim Inspector Cockrill
Leo Genn Mr. Eden
Trevor Howard Dr. Barney Barnes
Sally Gray Nurse Linley
Rosamund John Esther Sanson
Judy Campbell Marion Bates
Henry Edwards Mr. Purdy
Ronald Adam Dr. White
Megs Jenkins Nurse Woods
Moore Marriott Joe Higgins
George Woodbridge Sgt. Hendricks
Hattie Jacques Actor
Frank Ling Rescue Worker
John Rae The Porter
Ronald Ward Actor

Technical Credits
Sidney Gilliat Director,Producer,Screenwriter
William Alwyn Score Composer
A.S. Bates Production Manager
Wilkie Cooper Cinematographer
Claude Guerney Screenwriter
Frank Launder Producer
Muir Mathieson Musical Direction/Supervision
Thelma Myers Editor
Peter Proud Production Designer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Green for Danger
1. August 17, 1944 [3:56]
2. Terrible V-Is [5:37]
3. Young Doctors in Love [6:12]
4. Operating Theatre [6:21]
5. "Here We Go Round..." [6:44]
6. "You Killed a Girl, Didn't You?" [6:22]
7. Fate of Sister Bates [2:32]
8. Inspector Cockrill Arrives [2:29]
9. "Don't Trust Your Neighbor" [7:47]
10. Reenactment [5:10]
11. Poetry in the Night [3:24]
12. August 20, 1944 [2:02]
13. Mr. Eden Is Warned [1:59]
14. Gas [2:38]
15. And Then There Were Four [3:06]
16. Fantastic Scheme [7:41]
17. Close Call [2:29]
18. Terrifying Moment [4:36]
19. Another Death [5:04]
20. Comparative Failure [3:13]
21. Color Bars [1:57]
1. Introductions [3:56]
2. Maintaining the Puzzle [5:37]
3. Sets, Settings, and Clues [6:12]
4. Sidney Gilliat's Vision [6:21]
5. Wise Choices and V Weapons [6:44]
6. Judy Campbell [6:22]
7. Theatre at Night [2:32]
8. Novel and Author [2:29]
9. Brand's Eccentric Humor [7:47]
10. Concessions to the Censors [5:10]
11. The Faces of Sim [3:24]
12. A Nervous Adaptation [2:02]
13. Frank Launder [1:59]
14. Sidney Gilliat [2:38]
15. A Team at Last [3:06]
16. Alastair Sim [7:41]
17. Modus Operandi Revealed [2:29]
18. Trevor Howard [4:36]
19. Leo Genn [5:04]
20. A Great Anti-Detective Movie [3:13]
21. Color Bars [1:57]

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