Green for Danger (1946)

green for danger poster 1946 movie
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Alastair Sim

Kind of flat supporting cast

Movie Info

Movie Name: Green for Danger

Studio: Individual Pictures

Genre(s): Mystery/Suspense/War

Release Date(s):  December 7, 1946 (UK)/August 7, 1947 (US)

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

green for danger operation murder

Whodunit?

A small town in rural England is living in the shadow of the war.  When a postman (Moore Marriott) is injured in the bombing, he dies on the operating table while doctors and nurses try to save his life.  When Sister Bates (Judy Campbell) claims that the postman was murdered and that she has the evidence, Bates also meets an untimely fate.  Finding the murderer becomes the assignment of Inspector Cockrill (Alastair Sim) and everyone who was in the operating room is a suspect.

Directed by Sidney Gilliat (who also helped adapt the story), Green for Danger is a war mystery thriller.  The film adapts the 1944 Christianna Brand novel and was well received.  The Criterion Collection released a remastered version of the film (Criterion #375).

I didn’t know Green for Danger when I picked it up.  I just was looking for something new and got it at the library.  I found it enjoyable and you can see Hitchcock influence (Gilliat worked with Hitchcock).  Green for Danger is a fun little film that doesn’t play out like you expect it.  Due to the mystery aspect of the story a ******spoiler alert****** is in effect for the rest of the review.

green for danger murder

Nope…not sinister at all

The movie is very typical whodunit.  It is obvious before the operation that many people in the room are keeping secrets and the postman knows the secrets.  It is no shocker when he dies.  The twists start when the person who claims there is a murderer is killed and the introduction of Sim’s character.  Sim’s Cockrill plays the classic “wise” Inspector Hercule Poirot who feels unflappable and always right…until he isn’t.  The ending of the movie goes incredibly wrong for Cockrill who miscalls almost everything and results in another unnecessary death…it has that Hitchcock black comedy twist.

Sim is great.  While there is the Nurse Linley (Sally Gray) storyline and the obvious red-herring characters, Sim really commands the movie.  He brings the characters together while examining them and the fact that he is so fallible is the best part.  The movie ends with him full of doubt in his abilities and the world (hiding from a bomb that isn’t a bomb).  It really is a good comedic turn in many ways.

green for danger trevor howard alastair sim

I’m pretty much going to jack up everything from this point on

The movie also has that noir style.  The black-and-white style leads to a lot of dynamic lighting and stylization.  The film contrasts the normal noir film however by putting it in the rural countryside…one again playing with the contradictions of the movie.

Green for Danger was a fun surprise.  I love discovering old movies that aren’t as common as your Best Picture nominations or films that rerun constantly on cable.  It wasn’t the best film ever but going in with average expectations, it is nice when you find something different and fun.  The film’s storyline has a few aspects of Robin Cook’s Coma so it felt a little familiar, and I have to imagine that Cook was aware of the story when he wrote his novel.  If you enjoy mysteries and are looking for one you possibly missed, check out Green for Danger.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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