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Green for Danger - Criterion Collection
Green for Danger - Criterion Collection
Actors: Alastair Sim, Trevor Howard, Rosamund John, Sally Gray, Leo Genn
Director: Sidney Gilliat
Genres: Indie & Art House, Television, Documentary, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2007     1hr 31min

Studio: Image Entertainment Release Date: 02/13/2007

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Alastair Sim, Trevor Howard, Rosamund John, Sally Gray, Leo Genn
Director: Sidney Gilliat
Genres: Indie & Art House, Television, Documentary, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Classic TV, Documentary, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Criterion
Format: DVD - Black and White - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 02/13/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/1946
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1946
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 31min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 22
Edition: Criterion Collection
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Star vehicle for a tragically forgotten star
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 11/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Alastair Sim is tragically remembered today for only one role: he was without any question the definitive Ebenezer Scrooge, and usually the only film that anyone today has seen featuring Sim is his 1951 turn in A CHRISTMAS CAROL. In fact, Sim starred in a wide range of comedic and dramatic roles in the 1940s and 1950s. He was a familiar enough presence that Alec Guinness paid homage to him by doing a straightforward imitation of Sim in the 1955 film THE LADYKILLERS, evening wearing false teeth to look more like Sim.Sim managed to play in a large number of comedic suspense and mystery films. He starred in a series of Inspector Hornleigh films in the early forties, he went on to play memorable roles in wartime mysteries such as COTTAGE TO LET (with a very young John Mills in a key role), GREEN FOR DANGER, AN INSPECTOR CALLS (in which he plays a ghostly police inspector), and THE GREEN MAN, in which Sim plays a congenial assassin. But Sim also excelled in pure farce, and was magnificent in such films as THE HAPPIEST DAYS OF YOUR LIFE, LAUGHTER IN PARADISE, and the St. Trinian movies, which he played largely in drag. Sim, with his large frame, lugubrious eyes, and marvelously dramatic voice, was a delight in every film he graced, but today is primarily known for Scrooge, as noted above.There is actually a very good historical reason for the demise of Sim's reputation and of British cinema in general. In the fifties and sixties, French auteur criticism came more and more to dominate European and American film criticism. One of the central assumptions of auteur critics has been that British cinema, with the almost exclusive exception of pre-Hollywood Hitchcock and the workd of Michael Powell and Eric Pressburger, has been an aesthetic wasteland. As an ardent fan of forties and fifties British cinema, I know that this is an utterly false representation of what was actually happening in England. There were a number of excellent directors and a large number of superb actors and actresses who somehow or other were not siphoned off by Hollywood. GREEN FOR DANGER is one of Sim's finest films. The plot is largely superfluous. A postman dies in an operation in WW II England, under shady circumstances, and the great Inspector Cockrill is called in to solve the mystery. The movie is entirely a showcase for Sim's eccentric histrionics. The movie sinks or swims entirely on how one responds to Sim: if you love him (as I do), you will love this movie. If you dislike Sim (I reaction that would utterly mystify me), you will dislike this film.I strongly urge all lovers of film comedy to search this film out. I especially recommend this to lovers of British cinema. I will add that I believe this to be the best film that Alastair Sim ever made, though I would hasten to add that he made a dozen others very nearly as good. They are large hard to find these days, but searching them out will definitely repay the effort."
Go For The Green!
Laura Ann Scaife | Vancouver, B.C. Canada | 11/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I was absolutely thrilled to see that "Green For Danger" is finally being released on DVD. This is without a doubt one of the very best murder mysteries ever put onto film. Everything about this film, the acting, the writing, the direction, the photography - everything is world class. And Alastair Sim as Inspector Cockrill is the icing on the cake. If I had any complaint to make against this film it would be this - Why didn't this film lead to a whole series of Inspector Cockrill films? This is a wonderful piece of entertainment and I would urge any film fan not to miss it."
Thanks, Criterion
D. Guenzel | 02/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've seen the Criterion dvd of GREEN FOR DANGER and all I can say is "thank you" to Criterion for the care they lavished on it. It is, without question, the finest video presentation ever seen of this brilliant film. After years of watching dark, grainy 16mm prints on TV (and dark, grainy vhs copies and laserdiscs) it is truly wonderful to see this top-flight dvd.

The film is, of course, the penultimate British murder mystery, the best that has ever been done. Let's face it: no movie that rates an entire chapter in a book ("The Detective Film" by Everson) can be dismissed lightly. Just get the disc and enjoy it. Those reviewers who recommended you curl up on a cold and windy night with a cup of warm liquid and watch it have given you sage advice.

At last GREEN FOR DANGER's gorgeous cinematography by Wilkie Cooper can be appreciated for the thing of beauty that it is. It is not for nothing that the American Society of Cinematographers included this picture in their list of the Best Photographed Films of the 1940s. Cooper's work is quite simply marvelous and is a textbook example of how to photograph a black and white film. This beautiful dvd transfer also enables us to appreciate the fine sets by Peter Proud, an art director of enormous talent and ingenuity.

Criterion also cleaned up the soundtrack to an amazing degree. I couldn't believe it at first when I heard it. The dialog is now razor sharp and William Alwyn's music...oh, my goodness is it a nice score!

Here is one that is a must for your library. Get it and enjoy it. And if you like it (and I cannot imagine that you wouldn't) go order another wonderful Launder-Gilliat film I SEE A DARK STRANGER. Again, thanks Criterion!"
A Traditional Murder Mystery Set In World War II England--Fa
K. Harris | Las Vegas, NV | 04/05/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"While I see many here hailing Sidney Gilliat's "Green For Danger" as a long forgotten masterpiece, I'm afraid they might be setting the mark a bit high for those yet to discover this enjoyable film. Basically, this movie is a classic drawing room murder mystery--but instead of an estate, the action is centered in an isolated English hospital near the end of World War II. But all the familiar elements are in place--five suspects with secrets to hide, clandestine relationships, appropriate melodramatics, an endearingly oddball investigator, and the big finale that puts all the primary characters together for the big reveal. Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed "Green For Danger" in the way I enjoyed many mystery stories from the same time period. But it's not revolutionary, it's just well executed.

The film begins with an ominous voice-over--one that portends of impending murder. We are introduced to the man who will become the first victim. Then we are briskly introduced to the staff at the hospital. There are six individuals, one we're told is a murderer and two others will die by his/her hand. It's a great start to a fun adventure. As we spend time in the hospital, the first murder is set up and executed. Suspicions abound. But when one of the six announces that they know who the killer is--it leads to dire consequences and a visit from a Scotland Yard inspector. Taking it's cue from dozens of other stories, the inspector starts working the suspects until it's time to gather them together for the shocking revelation.

What distinguishes "Green For Danger," first and foremost, is the terrific performance of Alistair Sim. His inspector breathes much charm, much humor, and much subtlety to the proceedings. As the various suspects seethe, argue, and carry on histrionically--Sim can calm things down with a sly look and a quip. It's a bravura performance that is fun and beguiling. The film looks and sounds great, with plenty of shadowy images that set the appropriate tone. And the setting is novel. Having the action take place between bombing raids adds an element of seriousness, it ups the stakes. The script is witty and sophisticated, while the mystery itself is intriguing. It may not be resolved in the most believable way, but that is somewhat common for films of this type.

By all means, check out "Green For Danger!" It's a fun lark. It's all very British, and that's definitely a compliment. But again, approaching the film with moderate expectations may increase your enjoyment of the film's smaller scope. There's nothing you haven't seen before, at least plotwise, but this traditional mystery is still worth a look. KGHarris, 04/07."